What happens when you age a cocktail? Does barrel ageing 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 the […]
Ice 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, there are a couple of things, including how the ice chills […]
Cigars have a wonderful aroma and those aromatics seem like a great way to enhance the flavour of a cocktail, but be careful, the nicotine in the tobacco can be dangerous.
The people who market vodka are ripe with praise for their product. The machismo from these companies is enough to make Kim Jong-un 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 […]
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 Grey Goose Contain Glycerol? It’s one of those questions that […]
When you first start layering shots, it can be difficult to get clean layers, with this technique you can do it quicker and easier so you can have perfect B-52s and Pousee Cafes.
A concise guide to the fermentation and distillation of sugar cane into rum.
In life there are few things we automatically like or love, we usually need a positive introduction by a trusted person to acquire a taste. This process is called “Transvaluation” and is the technical term for positive contamination. Transvaluation is rare compared to negative contamination because it requires an object or person, of significant influence, to imbue another item with […]
In part one we looked at the Laws of Sympathetic Magic—Contagion and Similarity—and explained how they represent the sometimes illogical aspect of human nature. In this post I’ll expand on how these two laws influence human behaviour and how certain actions trigger emotional responses based on magical thinking. Many of the concepts aren’t necessarily new to anyone in the business, […]
Science is based on observation and reproducibility, but prior to genuine scientific understanding, humans reasoned that unexplainable phenomenons were caused by supreme beings and magic. This mentality is still a significant part of human behaviour and should be factored in food and drink creation because the actions of people do not necessarily follow the most logical path. Even though these […]
The approach of New Year’s Eve means that millions of people will be overindulging in the festivities, and paying the price in the form of a hangover on January 1st. For some reason, most people think the best way to start a new year is to spend all day on the couch with a pounding headache and an upset stomach. […]
My career path has been interesting to say the least. In retrospect it seems to have worked out okay and here’s an example of how my chemistry experience has melded with the world of drinks. Chemistry World is a science magazine that catalogues the latest discoveries in science by the top scientists from around the world. As serious as that […]