Drink Masters Season 1 Review – Boozy reality show serves as a decent distraction

Season 1

Episode Guide

Enter The Bar
Fantastic Fruits
Botanical Bevvies
At The Speakeasy
Dessert and Coffee
Cocktail Tournament
Spice and Ice
Signature Favourites
Winner Crowned


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.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

21 thoughts on “Drink Masters Season 1 Review – Boozy reality show serves as a decent distraction”

  1. What?? LP was calm and cool and created meticulous drinks the whole time. They all messed up… Tao was a cocky jackass and his stuff was just weird. What a bunch of racists! “Token black girl…” like a black girl can’t be the best bartender and better than the “token Mexican… token fag… token single mom… token bigotted asshats on this list.”

  2. LP won because she is black

    They even invented the section where they had to suddenly give a speech on why they “should” win just do they could justify it

    This takes away my trust in the not only the show, since its clearly biased, but even more so in Netlfix. Appearantly race specific advantages are part of the way they work

    Sad, the show was nice and there was a lot of talent .

  3. Yup, totally biased judges. Clear as day with this episode where Suzo went home and Kate (who even said out loud) made her drinks too simple was top 2. Nothing against Kate as a person but in a contest like that she should have at least had to compete in the elimination round to stay on, instead they showered her with praise and put her in the top two position. My eye-roll was so hard I saw my brain. Not even bothering with the rest of the show.

  4. Tao should have won, LP did a good job but not even close to the creativity and tecnique Tao showed. This is the opinion of a bartender with 20 years of experience. The show was clearlly bias afraid of sensure because of race. The other black girl that advanced pretty far also should have been eleminated way sooner, she sucked from d beggining and she was playing the racial card too. They forgot the show was about Drinks, not race.

  5. Tao clear winner here. LP lost the black and white challenge and her showstopper was presented in a teapot?!? Loved the show until the ending.

  6. LP? Really? Because she is black and a woman and said, she believes, if she can do it, everyone can do it. I don´t want a bartender, who can do, what everyone can do. I want a bartender, who can do, what noone can do. I want a Tao…

  7. A lot of disgusting comments on questioning why LP won, Toa straight up had drinks that failed to work when he distilled them and Kate had a ton of issues in challenges as well but no one mentions that. In the color challenge, both LP and Alex missed their color elements in the drink either one was fair game to go home

  8. I feel like LP won bc she was black and that’s sad… Tao was the clear winner he was way more creative then both of them combined and his drinks were next level in taste as well as stated by the judges. I’m a black woman and I’m upset and disappointed they gave her a title she did not earn.

  9. LP couldn’t even properly complete her black and white challenge. TAO didn’t have one bad issue. If you listen closely at the beginning of this episode LP made a statement(s) about skin color. I think the reason why LP won is because of her skin color. It doesn’t matter if your black/white/yellow/green God created us to be equal. Skin color doesn’t determine if you won or if you’re better. We are ALL winners regardless of the skin God gave us. This was completely unnecessary.

  10. I’m sorry why did LP win?
    She couldn’t even fulfil the brief of the challenge for the white & black. Upsetting.
    TAO is my number 1

  11. TAO should have won. I was expecting him to win. It took me by surprise that LP won. Right away couldn’t help to think it was because she is black. TAO was very unique in his drinks, LP sometimes played it safe. Anda challenge she didn’t even complete.

  12. LP loss a challenge when she didn’t complete the black and white. Should been out then. Doesn’t deserve this win🤔

  13. I’m happy she won. She kept her cool all through the competition and her talents and creativity won her that tittle… I picked Tao and LP for my top 2 and if it went either way, i still would have been happy… Just because she wasn’t jumping up and down and crying or spinning emotional tales doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve to win…. Yup… Loved the show. Everyone did a good job

  14. Netflix will start loosing viewers very fast if it doesn’t stop choosing a candidate based on some crazy reason. Ridiculous ending. Tao or Kate. You should have win it!!!!

  15. I’m irritated at the winner, it didn’t feel like a fair win, more like a token win for a black person. I weight wouldn’t want to win like that as another black person.

  16. Not happy with the winner. This person terribly failed at a challenge and was spared for some “unknown” reason. They lost me at that point.

  17. Like Blown Away S1 it was great – until the predictable woke ending. Wife and I literally picked the winner half way through.

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