See the 3-D Printed Cocktails This Whiskey Brand Served at the Tribeca Film Fest

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey brought its high-tech bar experience to the annual New York event.

The Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge featured a custom 3-D printed bar, made from about 3,000 3-D-printed components. Its design was inspired by the label on the bourbon bottle.
The Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge featured a custom 3-D printed bar, made from about 3,000 3-D-printed components. Its design was inspired by the label on the bourbon bottle.
Photo: Noam Galai

Three-dimensional printed cocktails look like they’re straight out of a sci-fi flick, so it’s probably apropos that the kooky concoctions were being served at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T.

The 3-D printer’s robotic arm dips a long needle into the glass, injecting droplets into the drink.The 3-D printer’s robotic arm dips a long needle into the glass, injecting droplets into the drink.Photo: Courtesy of BulleitThe high-tech drinks were available at the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge, an immersive experience from the whiskey brand, that took place from April 24 to 26 at Studio 525.

The Frontier Works concept previously made stops in Oakland, California, at the city's Sixteenth Street Station and in Austin for SXSW. Frontier Works is a brand initiative with the goal of working with artists, creators, and innovators on cultural projects; the 3-D bar was its first such venture.

"We looked to celebrate the synergies between the frontiers of 3-D printing and the interests of our partners in trade, the bartender, with whom we work so closely," said Ed Bello, global brand director for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey. "We wanted to collaborate on a piece of work that was A) boundary-pushing and B) exciting for those partners."

In collaboration with the architecture and design practice FAR Frohn&Rojas and the fabrication team at Los Angeles-based design collaborative MachineHistories, Bulleit transformed the venue into an experiential lounge with a custom 30-feet-by-15-feet 3-D printed bar, made from about 3,000 3-D-printed components; its design was inspired by the label on the bourbon bottle. Bello said that more than 2,000 hours was spent on developing the bar.

The drops are edible oils (like lemon, hazelnut, or vegetable) that are suspended in a clear or translucent liquor.The drops are edible oils (like lemon, hazelnut, or vegetable) that are suspended in a clear or translucent liquor.Photo: Courtesy of BulleitThe specialty cocktail, known as the Bulleit Beta Test Cocktail, featured Bulleit bourbon and was created by bartender Melissa Markert, with help from Print A Drink’s robotics pioneer Benjamin Greimel who designed the floating doodads inside the drinks.

Here’s how it works: These liquid “objects” are built inside the cocktail via a robotic arm that injects droplets, which form a set pattern like a dot matrix spiral; the shapes can jiggle in the drink but keep their shape. The drops are edible oils (in this case lemon oil) that are suspended in a clear or translucent liquor such as bourbon.

In addition, guests nibbled on 3-D-printed food while listening to music from DJs Odalys and Angel and Dren. The lounge hosted private invite-only events including the after-parties for the film screenings of Crown Vic and Plus One, as well as the 25th-anniversary celebration of In Living Color. Bulleit Frontier Whiskey was also the official sponsor of the festival’s New York Shorts Film program.

"With the Bulleit Frontier Works platform, we are flipping the script on how we share Bulleit with people by creating experiences inspired by the frontiers of the past to forge new frontiers today," explained Bello. 

Watch how a 3-D cocktail is made:


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