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US Chemistry Meeting Tackles Science of Booze

on 10/04/13 at 3:13 pm

Booze News

a1It was a cocktail party of a decidedly muted and academic sort.

The session called Chemistry at the Bar proved popular with some of the 14,000 scientists at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans – itself the birthplace of some powerful concoctions.

And if you’ve ever made a cocktail, that puts you in league with them.

“Making cocktails is something like chemistry at its simplest… adding different ingredients together, experimenting – that’s how they’ve evolved over the years to become as popular as they have,” said Neil Da Costa of International Flavors and Fragrances.

Dr. Da Costa came to present his work analysing the Hurricane, a cocktail invented in New Orleans in the 1940s as a means to use up rum that publicans had to buy in order to get access to the more prized whiskey.

Cocktails tend to be a rich mix of chemical components – not just the crucial molecule called ethanol, but a great many flavour compounds and “volatiles” that contribute to aroma.