Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Creating the perfect Bloody Mary: Good chemistry of fresh ingredients

Date:
March 29, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
After tackling the chemistry of coffee, tea, fruit juices, soda pop, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, why not take on the ultimate challenge, the Mount Everest of cocktails, what may be the most chemically complex cocktail in the world, the Bloody Mary?

After tackling the chemistry of coffee, tea, fruit juices, soda pop, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, why not take on the ultimate challenge, the Mount Everest of cocktails, what may be the most chemically complex cocktail in the world, the Bloody Mary? And in this the International Year of Chemistry (IYC), why not include its global offspring, the International Mary?

Those challenges underpin a presentation on March 29 reviewing the Bloody Mary's composition and the taste sensations created by those ingredients at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being in Anaheim, California.

"It's a very complicated drink," said Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D., a expert on the chemical analysis of flavors at International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., Union Beach, N.J. "The Bloody Mary has been called the world's most complex cocktail, and from the standpoint of flavor chemistry, you've got a blend of hundreds of flavor compounds that act on the taste senses. It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations -- sweet, salty, sour and umami or savory -- but not bitter."

Da Costa said those flavors originate in the basic ingredients in the traditional Bloody Mary, which by one account originated in a Paris bar in the 1930's. Stories link the name to various historical figures, especially Queen Mary I of England, noted for her bloody repression of religious dissenters. The ingredients include tomato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice, horseradish, black pepper, and celery salt. Shaken with ice or served over ice, it is often garnished with celery and a lemon wedge.

"Most of the ingredients have been analyzed for their key flavor volatiles, the chemicals that can evaporate from the glass and produce the aroma," Da Costa explained. "Similarly for the non-volatiles, which are the chemicals that stay in the liquid and contribute toward the flavor there. My presentation reviews the composition of these ingredients and highlights the key components and their sensory attributes."

Some of the ingredients have been linked with beneficial health effects, Da Costa, noted, citing the rich source of lycopene, for instance, in the tomato juice; horseradish with its allyl isothiocyanate, which can be effective at lower concentrations; other phytochemicals in lemon; and even the alcohol in vodka, which some studies suggest can be beneficial when taken occasionally in small amounts.

Does Da Costa's research provide any insights for making a good Bloody Mary? He cites several:

  • Make it fresh. Chemically, the Bloody Mary is a "highly unstable" concoction, and the quality tends to deteriorate quickly.
  • Ice it up. Serving Bloody Marys on ice helps to slow down the chemical reactions involving acids in tomato juice and other ingredients that degrade the taste.
  • Mind your mixes. If you use a cocktail mix, add some fresh ingredients to enhance the flavor and aroma.
  • Splurge on the juice. Tomato juice makes up most of the Bloody Mary's volume, so use high quality juice that has a deep, rich flavor.
  • Economize on the vodka. The intense, spicy flavor of a Bloody Mary masks the vodka, and using premium vodka makes little sense.

In the spirit of the IYC, Da Costa discussed the variations on the Bloody Mary consumed in other parts of the world. These "International Marys" include Denmark's Danish Mary; the Highland Mary (a.k.a. the Bloody Scotsman); the Russian Mary; the Bloody Geisha (yes, that's sake instead of vodka); the Bloody Maureen (replace vodka with Guinness); and the Bloody Molly (Irish whiskey replaces vodka).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Creating the perfect Bloody Mary: Good chemistry of fresh ingredients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134111.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, March 29). Creating the perfect Bloody Mary: Good chemistry of fresh ingredients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134111.htm
American Chemical Society. "Creating the perfect Bloody Mary: Good chemistry of fresh ingredients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329134111.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins