A Novel (Cocktail) Chemistry


What happens when you add a rather unappealing ingredient (lets be honest, no one drinks Tonic by itself) to a very pleasant ingredient? Normally, the gross becomes a little better and the delicious becomes a little gross. One exception to this rule is Gin and Tonic. 

At its base, tonic is a less than exceptional mixture of carbonated water, quinine and sugar. Most people do not feel inclined to sip on this beverage on its own. In fact, Gin & Tonics got their start by keeping the British Empire healthy during the nineteenth century when officers stationed in India began dosing their daily malaria-fighting quinine tonics with a bit of gin for palatability. 

That move instigated a lasting cocktail trend. In fact, many would argue that the combination of today's tonic water with Gin doesn't just assuage a bitter tasting element, but actually elevates both of its parts.

Believe it or not, Science is behind this phenomenon.

Matthew Hartings, a professor of Chemistry at American University, explains that while gin and tonic taste quite different from each other on their own, their flavor compounds have very similar structures. When the two meet in a glass, their like-molecules attract and this bond creates an entirely new taste sensation. You might say they have a natural and delicious chemistry that delivers novelty.

Moreover, the tonic bubbles play an important role in intensifying the perception of flavor. As each bubble rises through the liquid, different molecules of aroma stick to its surface and are delivered in tiny aromatic bursts to the top of your glass. Since Gin may be comprised of many different botanicals beyond Juniper Berry (e.g. Coriander, Orange, Angelica Root, Lemon, Orris Root and Cardamom), each sip naturally provides a different bouquet of scent.

So, whether you consciously notice or not, there’s a drama playing out beneath your nose as each aroma bubble fights for presence in the headspace of your cocktail.

As some of the most discerning spirit drinkers on the planet, Gin lovers often seek to elevate the spirit in their cocktails rather than mixers. For this reason, Alice & the Magician created an edible fragrance bursting with the natural botanicals of a traditional dry gin called London Dry Aromatic Mist. With ingredients sourced from the cliffs of central North America, this mist displays the sharp, piney freshness of crushed wild Juniper Berry. Get our favorite G&T Recipe Here. You may not be able to tell which scent molecules will triumph in the battle of bubbles within your Gin & Tonic, but you can govern which aromas animate the cloud above with A&M!