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Rotgutonix Booze Detector: Good Whiskey or Bad Moonshine?

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Written by Paul Strauss | August 13, 2009

Next time somebody serves you a glass of mystery booze at a cocktail party, whip out the Rotgutonix pen, and find out what you’re really drinking.


Just dip the Rotgutonix pen into a glass of alcohol (no mixers, please), and let it soak for 20 seconds. The pen’s liquid-crystal display will tell you if you’re about to drink some real whiskey or some nasty rotgut, it’ll tell you. While I don’t usually frequent bars that serve things in a jug marked “XXX”, apparently the serving of nasty bottom-shelf stuff in the wrong bottle is a more common practice in Europe than it is here in the States. As a matter of fact, product designer Emilio Alarc√≥n decided to create the gadget after he had a bad run-in with a couple of glasses of headache and nausea-inducing rotgut in Spain.


Unfortunately the device can currently only detect the chemical composition of 6 brands of liquor: Johnnie Walker, JB, DYC, Havana Club, Pampero and Brugal. So if you prefer Makers Mark, or something that starts with a Glen, you’re S.O.L. for now. The good news is that makers of the Rotgutonix are working on a future update that should allow it to detect up to 20 different booze profiles.

You can find out more about the Rotgutonix over at Curiosite.