Molecular Drinks… Straight up “Beam me up Scotty’s” Alley

I just heard of the term “molecular dinks”… ok, no judging, my social life I agree could be more crazy but anyway!

Molecular Drink
Molecular Drink

Molecular mixology (the technical term), is all about mixing molecular drinks to create absolutely new taste experiences, textures and feels with visual aids to top it all off. Additives used can vary from gels to mists, heat to solidifying liquids and foams to liquid nitrogen. This is said to create a whole new cocktail experience when enjoying a night out; however can these drinks be bad for you in any way?

Media has recently shown how molecular drinks that contain liquid nitrogen (often used in molecular misology) are extremely dangerous. Liquid Nitrogen is used in molecular drinks to give what is termed the dry ice-effect and is said to give a bit more excitement to every day cocktails people have drunken millions of times in the past. This effect has however been achieved with the less-dangerous-to-handle substance carbon dioxide so why the extremes of liquid nitrogen.

Nitrogen, even though not expensive to purchase is expensive to store as special canisters need to be sought to house the liquid and prevent it from exploding. When liquid nitrogen is used to chill the glass of a cocktail or garnish, it immediately starts to evaporate, engulfing the cocktail in a “Pennsylvania/Dracula” type mist however it is warned, you cannot drink the cocktail until all the mist has subsided. Also drinking it in its liquid form before the gas has begun is fatal as the liquid becomes a gas and expands in an individual’s stomach causing it to explode.

Then there’s the rule that liquid nitrogen should not be put in the cocktail itself. One can identify if the liquid nitrogen is in the cocktail as it floats or rolls on top of the drink.

A recent incident occurred in the UK with a teenager drinking a liquid nitrogen drink and in the end, ending up with her stomach being removed; this has sparked parliament in the UK to request a ban on liquid nitrogen used in molecular drinks. According to reports, liquid nitrogen does the same as ice, just millions of times worse; if you put an ice cube straight from the fridge onto your moist tongue, the ice cube will stick, same principle with liquid nitrogen except its sticking power is infinitely worse and if ingested in liquid from will expand ten-fold and more when in the stomach.

So to Molecular Drink or Not… I think I’ll err on the side of caution and stick to my usual cosmopolitan and martini’s…

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