Sunday, February 19, 2012

High-Tech Creat Out New Drinks

Cooking is one big science experiment. Now chefs have been gaining fame for more explicit use of scientific techniques and tools in the kitchen.

Now, according to an article in the December issue of Physics World, mixologists -- the folks behind the bar -- are getting into the act. They're borrowing tools from the labs to create wild new libations.

Here's one example. Alcohol is better than water at delivering flavors and aromas, since many of its molecules aren't water-soluble.

Plant material is fermented and then heated to extract the alcohol that contains those flavors --- that's distillation. But the heat produced during the distillation process will destroy some aroma molecules.

Enter the scientists' rotary evaporator, somewhere it is rather like a mist evaporator. When the fermented liquid goes in the rotating container, the pressure is lowered, so volatile components evaporate. Then a cool coil condenses the vapor back into liquid.

One mixologist in London used this technique to make a mild habaƱero liqueur. The spicy capsaicin isn't volatile --- so it gets left behind. The final product has the fruity and floral flavors of chili peppers with none of the searing heat.

For more proof, go to the article "Cocktail Physics" at Thanks

Originally Posted: About Additive