Next time you’re on the hunt for a new dinner recipe, a helpful chatbot might recommend a cocktail pairing — and even help place a delivery order for the ingredients. Food site Allrecipes today announced a partnership with Tito’s Handmade Vodka that’ll see the latter’s artificial intelligent bartender, Barkeep, integrated with Allrecipes’ recipe flow.
“As a brand, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and to make enjoying a Tito’s cocktail as simple as it should be,” said Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing at Tito’s Handmade Vodka. “The virtual bartender allows us to help our fans make hand-crafted cocktails in real time and gives us the ability to deliver on demand, bringing the bar one step closer to you.”
Leveraging natural language processing and a database of mixology knowledge, Barkeep — which will also be accessible on Facebook Messenger — serves up cocktail suggestions based on seasonality, popularity, and users’ individual preferences. It’ll also provide step-by-step mixing instructions for drinks that can be created with liquor cabinet and pantry staples and display a catalog of drinks available for purchase from alcohol delivery service Drizly.
The Tito’s brand features prominently throughout, of course, showing up every time a vodka cocktail recipe is discussed within the chatbot. And as part of a broader deal with Meredith Corp., Allrecipes’ parent company, Tito-sponsored drink recipes will soon appear within advertising slots on Allrecipes.com and Allrecipes’ Mixer Cards, rich ad units that let users customize recipes.
Tito’s was a natural fit for Allrecipes, according to Corbin de Rubertis, vice president at Meredith Corp. The site’s users are 21 percent more likely than the general U.S. population to have consumed Tito’s vodka in the last six months.
“We’re committed to using technology to make it easier and faster for cocktail enthusiasts to find recipe inspiration and execute their ideas. Barkeep is a fun, interactive way to make mixology and bartending more accessible,” De Rubertis said. “We’re equally committed to helping our forward-thinking brand partners like Tito’s engage shoppers where they are and capture the growing consumer interest in ecommerce purchase and delivery of spirits.”
Tito’s isn’t the first brand to try its hand at a chatbot. In 2016, Absolut Vodka launched a promotional Facebook Messenger bot that provided users with a QR code they could redeem at select bars for a free drink — plus a comped ride back home from ride-hailing service Lyft.
But with the Drizly integration, the company is hoping to cash in on the expanding liquor home delivery market. Online sales of beer, liquor, and wine grew 32.7 percent in 2017, according to market analytics firm Slice Intelligence.