Libation Lab

The holidays are often a time of adventurous eating and excessive drinking.  How about adventurous drinking?  When better to experiment with a new cocktail recipe, or create one of your own, then this festive time of year?  Now is a perfect time for libation lab work!

Candy Cane Cocktail

Before you hit the lab, do a quick literature review.  Start with Chemistry World‘s December cover story Shaken, not stirred, written by Hayley Birch.  You’ll learn about cocktail art & science, pick-up and dream-up a recipe or two.  This article contains a very handy liqueur density list; a helpful tool in crafting layered libations like my own Candy Cane cocktail (left).

In reading Shaken, not stirred, you’ll have been introduced to Darcy O’Neil.  He’s a part-time chemist at Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario and full-time cocktail aficionado.  Over at O’Neil’s blog Art of Drink, you’ll find recipes galore.  His holiday offerings include punch recipes that are definitely not for kids, rum-based eggnogs, the gin-based British hotpot and decadent, non-alcoholic hot chocolate.  For Drunken Science readers, O’Neil recommends his creation Feliz Natal.

One book to take with you to the lab is The Cocktail Primer: All You Need to Know to Make the Perfect Drink by Eben Klemm, a former researcher at MIT‘s Whitehead Institute and currently master mixologist for B.R. Guests Restaurants in New York City.  His Black-eyed Susan would be perfect for a New Year’s Day brunch.

Don’t wait for the new year to start experimenting. Perhaps you’ve got a favorite holiday cocktail? The Naked Scientists mentioned theirs during their Christmas Special podcast.  Your favorite drink is a good place to start tinkering!  Change an ingredient or two and you’ve got a brand new cocktail.  So get in the lab, try out a new recipe (or two) and whip-up a new cocktail of your own.  Share your research by tweeting a photo and recipe to @DrunkSci.  Include #LL (“libation lab”) in each tweet for easy tracking of your data. Cheers!

Lab safety is the #1 priority! Drink responsibly.

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