Ever come home from the store and thought to yourself, why did I buy fruit when I could have just bought alcohol? It's a common affliction that happens to all of us wine, beer, cider, gin, rum and whatever-the-hell-else-is-in-the-drinks cupboard-lovers. While it's true that another trip out to the shops isn't exactly going to kill you, it's also true that we've been waiting for a magical kitchen appliance that turns ordinary fruit into alcohol for a seemingly endless amount of time.
But no fear no more booze hounds! Ahem, I mean people who appreciate the occasional alcoholic beverage from time to time. After years of being offered kitchen appliances that we simply will never use - let us not mention the Chef'n StemGem Strawberrry Stem Remover, a life-saving instrument that works to detach the stems of our strawberries - gadget companies have finally stepped up to the plate and given us the basis of all of our hopes and dreams. Say hello to the Alchema "home cider system", the machine that brews up any alcoholic recipe you select through the power of wi-fi.
The machine works by allowing users to pick a recipe for cider, mead or wine through a companion iOS app that is connected to their wi-fi. It's shockingly easy and all else to be done is to add the ingredients of said cider, mead or wine, including yeast and sugar and press the start button - the app will let you know when it is done! Oh, with the added bonus that it gives you the reminder you didn't really need at the end - to share the fact that your alcohol is done through your social media pages.
Of course, anyone who knows anything about brewing their own alcohol at home will immediately recognize that there is one small catch to the whole making your own alcohol instead of buying it thing. If you're going to make cider, you will have to wait one to two weeks for it to be ready to drink, while homemade wine will take up to 16 weeks.
However, on the plus side, you can rest assured that, because you made it with your own sweat, blood and tears (or rather with the help of this completely marvellous appliance) you well and truly deserve that large glass of wine in your hand. And the next one, and the one after that.
The Alchema, which can produce up to about three wine bottles of at a time, is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter. But just before you start thinking it's almost too good to be true, I regret to inform you that you'll have to pay big for the ability to make your own batch of afternoon bevvies; the appliance costs $499, plus the cost of the ingredients.
But can you really put a price on making the perfect glass of homemade wine or cider? The alcoholic within me says no.