It's a pretty well established fact that one consumes drinks by, well, drinking them. But the folks behind Vaportini decided to challenge that idea. With a simple $35 kit—premium versions costing up to $160 are also available—your favorite booze transforms into a breathable fog. We were sent a unit to review, and couldn't help but think of the molecular mixology bar on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Order a Vaportini set, and you'll get a tea candle, a plastic funnel, a metal ring, a glass globe, and a glass straw. For $10 more, a pint glass is included, or else you can provide your own. The included instructions walk you through setting up a vaporizing session.
The candle goes in the bottom of the pint glass, and the metal ring on top—it's made specifically to fit standard pint glasses, so other styles won't do. Then comes the booze. Using the funnel, you're instructed to pour in an ounce and a half of your favorite spirit, with a proof between 70 and 100. Next, light the candle, and place the globe on top of the ring.
In five to ten minutes, the liquor will start to vaporize, gathering at the top of the globe. That's when it's time to partake. Stick the straw in, keep it above the liquid, and inhale deeply. You're supposed to hold it in your lungs for a few seconds, and then let go.
To test Vaportini, we used 90 proof Buffalo Trace bourbon. In vapor form, the flavor of the bourbon came through, as did some of the alcohol burn, but it's definitely not as harsh as taking a shot can be. Puff away a few times until it feels like you're not getting any more alcohol, and you'll definitely start to feel a buzz.
Are there any advantages to vaporizing a drink, compared to consuming it in the traditional method? Well, the alcohol gets into your blood stream much more quickly, since it doesn't need to go through your stomach first.
But we discovered a few drawbacks to the whole thing. One is the sheer process behind it all. The alcohol may enter your system quickly...but the process of setting up the vapor takes much longer than pouring a traditional shot. The cleanup's also a little tricky. Because the only opening in the globe is a six millimeter hole, it can be tough to get all the liquid out. After rinsing, we were left with a small pool of water that just didn't want to come out.
Vaportini isn't going to become our go-to consumption method, but it is a fun toy for cocktail enthusiasts. We could see it being a big hit at parties, where at the very least, it'll be a good conversation piece. We'd consider setting up a few different spirits to experiment with tastes and effects. Vapor of Cinnabon vodka, anyone?