Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A dash of physics thrown into the cocktail mix

Date:
December 12, 2011
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
Top-end bartenders are ditching trial and error for a more measured, controlled and scientific approach to the art of cocktail making, according to experts.

Ever wondered how your martini maintains its crisp and balanced taste, or why a manhattan remains clear if stirred but turns cloudy when shaken?

Related Articles


In this month's edition of Physics World, Naveen Sinha and David Weitz from Harvard University reveal all, describing how some top-end bartenders are ditching trial and error for a more measured, controlled and scientific approach to the art of cocktail making.

The authors explain how techniques borrowed from physics laboratories -- such as rotary evaporators, thermocouples and centrifuges -- are increasingly giving these "mixologists" the perfect means to transfer some of their more wacky ideas into the finished products served in bars all over the world.

Among the bartenders adopting the tricks and techniques from physics are Tony Conigliaro of 69 Colebrooke Row in London, John Gertsen at Drink in Boston, and Grant Achatz at Aviary in Chicago.

The rotary evaporator, for instance, can be used to extract the delicate aroma from molecules that would usually be destroyed by the high temperatures used in traditional distillation. It does this by lowering the pressure inside one of its chambers, causing the desired compounds to evaporate and then condense back into a liquid in a separate part of the device.

Sinha and Weitz also highlight the properties of ethanol -- the main constituent of cocktails -- and explain how these can be exploited to influence the multiple chemical reactions taking place in a cocktail, each affecting the look, feel, taste and smell of that particular mix.

Likewise, the laws of thermodynamics are taken into account to make sure the neat vodka and tequila don't burn the back of your throat on the initial slurp and that the gin and vermouth maintain their crisp, balanced flavours when making a martini.

Weitz, who is a physicist by training, knows a fair amount about the science of cooking as he also runs an undergraduate course at Harvard on the subject that he developed with some of the world's top chefs, including Ferran Adriΰ of the much-lauded El Bulli restaurant in Catalonia.

"Cocktail recipes have survived and evolved as we have learned to improve the balance of these components," write Sinha and Weitz. "But today's bartenders are seeking inspiration from science to improve these recipes and to invent new concoctions. So let's all raise a glass to science."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "A dash of physics thrown into the cocktail mix." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130202557.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2011, December 12). A dash of physics thrown into the cocktail mix. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130202557.htm
Institute of Physics. "A dash of physics thrown into the cocktail mix." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130202557.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

AFP (Dec. 18, 2014) — The first flight of Etihad Airways' long-awaited Airbus A380 superjumbo will take place later in December, the Abu Dhabi carrier said Thursday, also announcing its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner route. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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