Small is Beautiful: The Effects of Details on Drink Flavor

My interest in cocktails is still going strong! As making cocktails is basically equivalent to lab work (except that you can drink your creations afterwards), I’m drawn to it and continue to find new facets. The connection between flavor and the inherent chemistry in cocktails is something which I find especially fascinating. That’s why I already wrote a couple of articles about it. In my newest article on the topic, I have a closer look at the effect of flavor details on drinks. While this may sound a bit dry, you might perk up when you notice that I’m talking about bugs and wood in your drink .

Of course, the bugs are a tradition in mezcal, the superset encompassing tequila. It may have started as a marketing gimmick but mass spectrometry analysis shows that some unique flavor chemicals are released by the worm into the mezcal, especially those reminiscent of fresh cut grass. Similarly, the effect of cork on wine is self-evident. Mostly, it’s portrayed in the negative dimension (‘this wine is corked’) and can rapidly ruin a perfectly good bottle of wine. But cork also has a subtle positive effect and can add small amounts of vanillin, contribute to color stabilization and modulate astringency. Nothing really is too small to analyze further and details really can matter, so pay attention to what you’re drinking and you might be surprised about the layers and layers beneath it!

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