By John Gruber
The first subscription service for Mac apps. No ads, paid upgrades, in-app purchases or hidden costs. Just $9.99/month.
“The martini is a cocktail made with 1 part gin and 6 parts vermouth.”
Those of you who enjoy a martini know that that recipe is backwards, and would make for a truly wretched drink — the International Bartenders Association standard recipe for a dry martini calls for 6 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. If anything, many martini aficionados prefer less vermouth than the IBA recipe.
Given the same query, Siri tells you (rather ungrammatically) “The main ingredient in martini (cocktail) is gin”, and points you to Wikipedia, which offers the IBA recipe. Google Assistant on a Pixel tells you “The Martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.” You can then tap “Ingredients” to be shown a recipe with the IBA standard 6-to-1 gin-to-vermouth ratio.
Neither Siri nor Google Assistant are perfect here, but both put you one tap away from getting an acceptable recipe. Google gets points for doing it entirely within the Assistant interface (rather than punting you over to a web browser), but Siri gets points because Wikipedia’s page contains instructions on how to prepare the drink, not just what to put in it.
Alexa’s response is clearly the most ambitious, but it’s by far the worst because it’s so criminally wrong. “I don’t know, go check Wikipedia” is a much better response than a wrong answer.
Update: Two days after I tweeted about this, Alexa now correctly prescribes 6 parts of gin to 1 of vermouth.