Enter The Bar
At The Speakeasy
Dessert and Coffee
Spice and Ice
Netflix have a knack for producing compelling competition series across a wide spectrum of topics. Blown Away did a great job carving out a niche for itself while bonkers additions to the field like Nailed It! and The Big Flower Fight have essentially recycled the reality competition formula for different hobbies or interest. Not one to leave any stone unturned, Netflix are back and this time they’ve brought a spicy, heady blend of alcohol to the mix for Drink Masters.
The premise is simple; twelve mixologists battle it out to become the top mixer in the world, taking home a cool $100k and bragging rights to their neighbourhood. In order to get there though, they’re thrown through the gauntlet of boozy bartending, as each of the contestants are given challenges to complete, with one person sent home at the end of each episode. Ice cool Tone Bell is our host and he’s joined by cocktail bar owner Julie Reiner and “The Six” Frankie Solarik. Along the way there are some guest judges that pop up too, especially during the latter half of the show.
It’s a very familiar format and this helps to immediately slip into the groove… but it’s immediately dealt a bad hand by some rather obnoxious and arrogant contestants. There seems to be an incessant need these days to pepper these sorts of people into reality shows when the irony is shows like The Great British Bake Off are so popular because they don’t!
The episodes themselves are relatively straightforward, although you can amusingly tell by the 38 minute length that these guys have really struggled to fill the time out to longer! As someone who has experience making cocktails and having spent 7 years as a bartender, it does require a fine art to balance between different elements of a drink out and Drink Masters does at least go some way to try and explain this.
The show never veers into the level of pretentiousness one may expect, but that’s not for the want of the contestants trying. “I deserve to be here.” One retorts early on; a genuine line that’ll immediately make you hope for their elimination. And that’s a real shame, because it’s a wonder that no one has bothered to make a show about alcohol and mixology before now. Some of these drinks look absolutely scrumptious and the presentation for some of these are off the charts.
The finale, which pits the 3 finalists against each other, is likely to be another point of contention and you’ll sense some deja vu to moments that are comparable to Blown Away too. I have absolutely no doubt that people will be vocal over who they think should be the winner and as always, do comment below with your thoughts. And for those who haven’t seen the show yet, be wary of spoilers!
Drink Masters is not a bad show though and with less than 40 minutes an episode, this one doesn’t waste your time as it whittles down the number of contestants. If you’re looking for a tasty treat, this is a decent option to quench your thirst, although it’s unlikely to give you as much of a buzz as you might expect.