Bloody good Mary

April 28, 2011

The Column

The Column, The Column-04-18-2011, Volume 7, Issue 7

Flavour analysis of a Bloody Mary has provided some key insights into the best ways to mix the drink. The challenges and findings of cocktail?s analysis were presented at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Flavour analysis of a Bloody Mary has provided some key insights into the best ways to mix the drink. The challenges and findings of cocktail’s analysis were presented at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

“It’s a very complicated drink,” said Neil C. Da Costa, an expert on the chemical analysis of flavours at International Flavors & Fragrances. “From the standpoint of flavour chemistry, you’ve got a blend of hundreds of flavour compounds that act on the taste senses. Most of the ingredients have been analysed for their key flavour volatiles, the chemicals that can evaporate from the glass and produce the aroma. Similarly for the non-volatiles, which are the chemicals that stay in the liquid and contribute toward the flavour there.”

These basic ingredients include tomato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice, horseradish, black pepper, and celery salt.Da Costa recommends high quality tomato juice to ensure a deep, rich flavour, but notes that the taste of vodka is masked by the other flavours and so cheaper vodka will suffice. He also advised that as the drink is highly unstable serving it on ice is a good way to slow the reactions that degrade the taste.

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.