On the Washing of Tea

The Gastropod podcast “looks at food through the lens of science and history”, so it’s only natural that they’ll cover stuff relevant to our interests here at Doing Science to Stuff. The May episode The Cocktail Hour provides a fascinating look at not only the history and craft of cocktail making, but also some modern techniques for enhancing the cocktail experience.

Initial observation:

Toward the end of the episode, they discuss a technique called boozewashing. The fundamental idea, expanded upon in Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence, is to use chemistry to pull undesirable flavors out of a drink. In this case, using proteins in milk to pull polyphenols like tannins out of tea-infused vodka.

Question:

How big an impact does boozewashing have on the flavor of tea-infused vodka? Does it impact mouth-feel at all? What about the overall appearance of the vodka?

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Units Matter

A news item popped up today about how alcohol conglomerate Diageo would be offering nutritional information. However, a little bit of cognitive dissonance set in after reading this sentence “And a 12 oz serving of Guinness — often referred to as a meal in a glass for good reason — clocks in at an eye-opening 678 calories.

Wait – what? Guinness cans already have nutritional information, and they certainly don’t read 678 calories!

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