Good News Everyone! It Pours!


The title says it all. Check out the video below and then we’ll walk you through the technical stuff afterwards.

As you may have been able to ascertain, we were a little excited about pouring that first shot. That was our first take and we honestly didn’t expect it to work. We had our fair share of hurdles and were totally blown away by the outcome.

The rough idea for the design had always been to connect a solenoid to an upside down bottle then keep it open for a certain time per ounce (as bartenders do when they pour a shot). That is much easier said than done.

The most obvious solution was to take shot pourer and use a union and some tubing to join it to the solenoid. The most obvious solution is usually wrong, however, and this was no exception. The reason that bartenders can reliably count to pour a shot is because they get a consistent flow from the shot pourer. The shot pourer gets a consistent flow because it has a breather tube that allows air back into the bottle as the liquid is dispensed. The problem is that if you turn the bottle upside down and close off the spout of the pourer, your (presumably) expensive liquor will slowly leak out. That’s simply not acceptable.

The crux of the matter is that we would need a breather tube that could let air in, but not let alcohol out. We tested this by hot gluing a bendy straw on top of the breather hole of our pourer. It worked! Pretty much. Fast forward a bit and we found a rubber bottle stopper that we could adapt to our purposes. It fit a wide variety of bottles and was hollow except for the tip. We simply cut the tip off to allow the liquor to flow. To handle the breathing tube we used a t-junction and electrical-taped an “overflow” tube. You can see how this works in the video.

The OTTO team is stoked on this success and are hard at work on delivering refrigerated mixers. Please continue staying tuned.