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!
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.