Research

The Science of Vodka

The idea of the purest, cleanest vodka is one of the biggest marketing ploy's going. Every company is advertising triple distilled, quadruple distilled, and so on, to give you the impression that the vodka is the best distillate possible. Some companies even make the gimmick go to six or seven times distilled! So what makes one vodka special and another one not so special? What would be the… [Continue]

Vodka Tasting

For the past few days I’ve been working on a vodka study that I’m looking to publish in the next month or so. This vodka study is similar to the study involving malt and blended scotch identification, with a few modifications and additional analysis.… [Continue]

Ability to Distinguish Whisky from Brandy

This is the second part of a write up on a persons ability to distinguish one spirit from another. Part one was Malt vs Blended whisky and this part is brandy vs whiskey. In the first research paper it was concluded that an inexperienced whisky drinker could not distinguish between a single malt or blended scotch. Also, experienced… [Continue]

Does Grey Goose Contain Glycerine?

The people who market vodka are ripe with praise for their product. The machismo from these companies is enough to make Kim Jong-il blush. With a large enough marketing budget, you can create any image you want, and Grey Goose was the first vodka company to prove it. They made an unaged, technologically simple spirit into an ultra premium, must have product. The down side of making a very simple… [Continue]

Glycerol in Vodka Results

After preparing all of my test solutions on a, sunny, Saturday afternoon, I decided that a beautiful Tuesday evening was perfect to spend in the lab, the same lab I spent all day in. But the effort was for a good cause, which was to answer the nagging question: Does… [Continue]

Bitterness Makes You Judgmental

A recent research paper published in Psychological Science has shown a relationship between bitter flavours and judgement. The interesting result was that after tasting something bitter, people were harsher in their judgement. If you are politically conservative, the effects are even more pronounced. Since bitters are a key part of cocktails, and alcohol in itself can be bitter to a significant… [Continue]

Origin of the Word Cocktail

This topic has been debated a lot and nobody really knows where the word came from, but every once in a while somebody comes across an old newspaper article discussing this topic. Well, as I was researching through some archives of old newspapers, I came across a couple of articles discussing the origin of the word "cocktail". I decided to share them. The articles are interesting in that they are… [Continue]

Good Ice Makes Great Cocktails

Ice2Ice can be a pretty boring topic, unless you are talking to a cocktail enthusiast, then you just need to sit back, listen, and enjoy the cocktail they served you demonstrating the potential of ice. Besides filling the glass and chilling the drink, what’s so important about ice? Well,… [Continue]

Barrel Aged Cocktails

What happens when you age a cocktail? Does aging help or hinder the flavour and what is happening chemically to the liquor mixture inside the barrel? Do you really need a barrel to make them? These are the questions everyone wants to know about aged cocktails, and really, this is a unique and little understood process so let’s do a little research and discover what is happening.

Aged… [Continue]

Method of Preserving Fresh Cherries

Patent 4298623 Issued on November 3, 1981. Estimated Expiration Date: December 14, 1999.

Description
This invention relates to the processing of cherries, and more particularly to a method of processing fresh uncooked cherries in such amanner as to render the cherries storable. The invention further concerns a method of processing cherries which have been stored in the manner contemplated… [Continue]

Fruit Pectin

After writing the article on the Dawn of Tiki, I had about a litre of prepared fruit juice leftover, so I've continued to make the drink from the Philippines. Even though I'm on my sixth or seventh one, the drink still has a peculiar property that makes me enamored with it. I've finally figured… [Continue]

Anti-Bitters (aka Bitter Blockers)

I've always like the idea of molecular mixology, but not necessarily the name or some of the end products. The name has been abandoned by most practitioners of the art, but the media refuses to move on. So be it, it's just a name and if it promote's better drinks / solids / foams / beads then that's fine. Hence forth the anti-bitters discussion will be classified… [Continue]

Cyanide in Cherries: Pt II

In part one we figured out how much cyanide was contained in fruit pit kernels and their toxicity. To summarize, yes there is cyanide in the kernels and there is enough to harm you. The next obvious question is; can you remove the cyanide from the kernel so it can be used in liqueurs? Additionally, I know that at some point in time I will receive angry emails from advocates… [Continue]

HFCS Research

When you publish a website, you often leave yourself open to public scrutiny, which often leads to "Fan Mail", as I like to call it. Most of the time I ignore it, but sometimes I feel compelled to reply. This is one of those occasions. Now, the topic is High… [Continue]

High Fructose Corn Syrup Pt. II

What is it about High Fructose Corn Syrup that makes it different from other sugars, like common table sugar? Obviously, the sugars come from two different plants corn and sugar cane / sugar beets. But the key factor, and the one that causes the most discussion, is that the sugars produced from corn are a products of a multi-stage enzymatic process that breaks down corn starch into simple sugars.… [Continue]

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Part I

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is all the rage these days. Actually, its more likely to cause opinionated rage, at least on the Internet. In the summer of 2006 I was going to discuss this topic but got distracted by all the boozy goodness. Then Scott, at Scott's Rum Pages, brought up the point about HFCS in the Rum and Coke post. This reminded me that I was going to write something about this… [Continue]

Tavern Culture (1966)

Lately, I've been looking into old research papers on bars and the people who frequent them. One that I found fascinating is transcribed below and was published in 1966. The paper deals with a typical New York dive bar called the Star Tavern, the people who sit in the chairs and an Irish bartender. The paper was written by a psychiatrist who simply wanted to answer a question. He picked the… [Continue]

Green Swizzle

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