Whisky is often times the alcoholic beverage choice for those strong hearted. As this drink is mostly correlated with a test of bravery and strength, many connoisseurs dismiss an old traditional trick. The controversial recipe consists of whisky on rocks or sprinkling the distilled drink with a dash of water. This time, scientists confirmed that this seemingly odd mix is actually creating a better taste than the original.
Swedish Scientists Took a Look at the Mix Between Whisky and Water at a Molecular Level
Researchers at the Linnaeus University Center for Biomaterials Chemistry in Sweden did some experiments regarding whisky. Their findings appeared in Scientific Reports and had an interesting edge indeed. The conclusion was that a simple ingredient as water could actually enhance the taste of the alcoholic beverage.
However, researchers didn’t reach this verdict through a series of whisky tastings. Instead, they used science to take a look at the reaction that takes place at a molecular level. While many people are standing by this trick through their own life experience, they now have this study to back up their claims.
Water Guides All the Flavors of the Drink to the Surface Which Renders Better Taste
Chemists Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman focused on one particular molecule in whisky known as guaiacol. This sole particle is responsible for the familiar smokey scent and flavor that accompany any glass of whisky. Therefore, they ran numerous computer simulations that showed results of different mixtures of ethanol with water.
As a result, researchers discovered that the content of ethanol impacted the way guaiacol performed. For instance, when there is an ethanol concentration of at least 59%, guaiacol was scattered throughout the liquid and stayed away from the surface. However, if the water was added, the molecules of guaiacol would react in such a manner, that they would rise to the surface.
Due to the fact that people are enjoying this golden drink through sips and not mouthfuls, they are actually experiencing the flavors that are located at the surface. As water helps these smokey flavors to go up, it makes the entire glass have a better taste overall.
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