Ginterview: #sciencegeist

As popular as gin is among Drunken Scientists, as a group, we would best be described as liqurious.  Gin makes a good interview solvent, but so is vodka, whiskey, tequila, beer, wine….

For this ginterview, we’re sharing a cocktail with ScienceGeist Dr. Matthew Hartings, who recently wrote on the science of gin & tonics.

Favorite gin I like Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray.  I’ve been hearing rave reviews for Hendricks.  Grey Goose or Belvedere. Although, I’ve read a NYT article that does a blind tasting and rates Smirnoff as their winner!

It's G&T time! photo by Harting

Favorite gin drink That’s a tough question. By far my favorite is the gin and tonic. However, if ordering/making a cocktail with a clear liquor, I tend to shy towards vodka.  Although in the summer I have been known to partake in a “girlie” coktail or five (pina colada or a daiquiri out of a shaker).  That doesn’t make me less manly, does it?  And this is just between you and me … right?  [sorry, doc, it’s not! ~ LiquorUp]  That being said, I am a whiskey man.  Scotch.  Bourbon.  Rye.  In that order.  I’ve currently got a nice 14 yr Oban open. Delightful.

Gin is described here.  Can you describe what you do? I am a bioinorganic chemist.  That long name means I study how metals bring function and beauty into biological systems.

Your research distilled I have two research projects: (1) I am making metal-modified ATP molecules that I hope will be used as anti-cancer drugs (2) I am re-engineering a protein so that it can be used to convert carbon dioxide into more useful chemicals (methanol, polymers, etc).

What are you serving? I teach general chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and am currently teaching a general education course covering the chemistry of cooking.

Gin or vodka martini? Vodka martini. I know. I know. This makes me a horrible person. I like my martini’s dirty. It kind of defeats the purpose of the gin.


I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast. ~ W.C. Fields

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