Salt, Booze-Washing and the Science Behind the Perfect Cocktail
on 01/06/15 at 9:48 amBooze News
Dave Arnold, the mixologist behind high-tech cocktail bar Booker and Dax, shared this secret with Gastropod in a new episode about the hard science behind the perfect cocktail, from the relationship between taste perception and temperature to the all-important decision of whether to shake or stir.
The secret ingredient no cocktail should be without
Of course, the most important ingredient in a cocktail is the liquor. The sugar, acids, and ice choices also have flavor implications, making every cocktail recipe into a kind of calculus that factors in the physics of energy transfer as well as variations in the molecular structures of different sweeteners.
But salt can play a crucial role. Arnold is quick to point out that you should only add a very tiny amount—”we are not talking about salting the rim of your glass here!” he told Gastropod.
Arnold’s insight is just one of several scientific tricks contained in his new book, Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail. He draws on the same logic that calls for adding a pinch of salt to most baked goods, from ice cream to pastry. “These very, very small quantities of salt really just cause all the flavors to kind of pop,” Arnold explains, because of the way our taste buds work.