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10 Celebrity Refreshments

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Advertisers know that the taste of a better lifestyle will sell products. Celebrities learn this as well, and can make a killing putting their name on something that can impart even a little of their charm on a fan. These beverages just might be the perfect gift for a fan that you know.

1. Marilyn Manson Absinthe: Mansinthe

Musician Marilyn Manson, a longtime absinthe fan, partnered with Markus Lion and Swiss distiller Matter-Luginbühl in 2007 to create his signature liquor called Mansinthe. Manson took a hands-on approach to the development of the product and tested it for quite some time before approving the final product. Reviewers rate it between average and rather good.

2. The Situation's Low-Calorie Devotion Vodka

Making a "health drink" out of vodka is an exercise in cognitive dissonance, but then again, so is "reality" TV. Devotion Vodka resulted when New Jersey native Drew Adelman combined vodka with a protein supplement and formed a partnership with Mike Sorrentino to market the drink. Sorrentino goes by the name "The Situation" in his role in the TV series Jersey Shore. He also manages a fitness club. Devotion Vodka is promoted as low calorie, sugar-free, and gluten-free. The tagline for the vodka tells us it is "infused with casein" (brand name PeptoPro®). Casein is a material derived from milk that is used to make pizza cheese, paint, glue, and protein supplements.

3. Ron de Jeremy: the Adult Rum

After 30 years and a couple of thousand films, Ron Jeremy is the best known man in the adult film industry. You may recognize him from mainstream films as well. Now that name (and face) is on bottles of rum. Ron de Jeremy comes in two forms, regular rum and Ron de Jeremy Spiced, with extra flavor. Both are advertised with the tagline "the adult rum." As if there were any other kind. The product came about as a joke, according to Jouko Laune and Olli Hietalahti of One Eyed Spirits, which produces the liquor. "Ron" means rum in Spanish, and the name Ron Jeremy opens up a world of puns to fuel advertising and word-of-mouth. It's a gift that sends an extra message in addition to "I know you like rum."

4. Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head on Bar

Crystal Head Vodka looks exactly as you would expect: a bottle of vodka in a glass skull. Crystal head is a collaboration between actor Dan Aykroyd and artist John Alexander, who are both interested in the paranormal aspects of crystal skulls. The vodka itself is filtered through quartz crystals. The bottle actually came before the vodka -in fact, the original plan was to put tequila in it! Aykroyd already had a deal to import Patrone tequila to Canada, so vodka was selected instead. That it was launched in 2008 was supposedly unrelated to the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Those who have paid around $60 a bottle tend to treasure the skull more than the spirit. Image by Flickr user Kevin Takaki.

5. Justin Timberlake's 901 Silver Tequila

Launched in 2009, 901 Silver Tequila is named for the area code of Justin Timberlake's hometown, Memphis Tennessee, but it is marketed to remind people of 9:01 PM, the time to drink tequila. Timberlake's name does not appear on the bottle, but he founded the product, which is manufactured by Tequilera Newton in the heart of Jalisco, Mexico.

6. Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon

One of Willie Nelson's most popular hit songs is "Whiskey River," which inspired the name of his Old Whiskey River Bourbon, launched in 2001. Produced by Heaven Hill Distilleries in Kentucky, the 6-year-old Bourbon is distributed by Drinks America. Each bottle comes with a guitar pick, and part f the proceeds go to Farm Aid.

7. Vince Neil's Tres Rios Tequila

Vince Neil of the band Mötley Crüe introduced his Tres Rios Tequila in 2007. Although the Tres Rios site is no longer there (but still linked on Neil's website), the tequila is still sold in stores.

8. Danny DeVito's Limoncello

Limoncello is an Italian dessert liqueur made from lemons. Danny DeVito's Premium Limoncello may have come about as a joke after he (jokingly?) blamed a strange 2006 performance on a TV talk show on too many limoncellos. It was only a few months later that his personal brand of the drink debuted. It is possible that the entire event was a marketing ploy, but most likely it's an example of life handing him lemons and DeVito making limoncello out of it. It compares well with other brands of limoncello, but comes in a frustratingly opaque bottle. The original website promoting the product is either defunct or under construction, but it is still available at a liquor store near you.

9. Two if by Tea, from Rush Limbaugh

In June of 2011, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh introduced a bottled sweet tea called Two If By Tea. The product site is full of Tea Party and tea puns. The tea comes in regular and diet plus raspberry flavor -no alcohol here. The drink is only available online, but you can order in large quantities.

10. AC/DC The Wine

Australian band AC/DC launched their signature wine collection last August, which includes several varieties: Back in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon, Hells Bells Sauvignon Blanc, and You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato. The labels for each depict a different AC/DC album cover. They are a product of Warburn Estate winery. Like the song says, "Have a Drink on Me."

The Rolling Stones, KISS, Motorhead, and Whitesnake have all released wine collections. In fact, signature wine is such a popular investment choice for celebrities that I decided to stop the list here. You can learn more in the post 10 Celebrities Who Own Wineries. I also passed over quite a few celebrity beverages that appeared to be simply endorsement deals for existing products. Learn about the founders of some classic potables in The Men Behind Your Favorite Liquors.

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science
Why Adding Water to Your Whiskey Makes It Taste Better
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Don’t ever let people tease you for watering down your whiskey. If they’re true aficionados, they’ll know that adding a splash of water or a few cubes of ice to your drink will actually enhance its natural flavors. But how can something as flavorless as water make a barrel-aged scotch or bourbon taste even better? Chemists think they’ve found the answer.

As The Verge reports, researchers from the Linnæus University Centre for Biomaterials Chemistry in Sweden analyzed the molecular composition of whiskey in the presence of water. We already know that the molecule guaiacol is largely responsible for whiskey’s smoky taste and aroma. Guaiacol bonds to alcohol molecules, which means that in straight whiskey that guaiacol flavor will be fairly evenly distributed throughout the cask. Alcohol is repelled by water, and guaiacol partially so. That means when a splash of water is added to the beverage the alcohol gets pushed to the surface, dragging the guaiacol along with it. Concentrated at the top of the glass, the whiskey’s distinctive taste and scent is in the perfect position to be noticed by the drinker.

According to the team’s experiments, which they laid out in the journal Scientific Reports [PDF], whiskey that’s been diluted down to 40 percent to 45 percent alcohol content will start to show more guaiacol sloshing near the surface. Most commercial whiskey is already diluted before it's bottled, so the drink you order in a bar should fall within this range to begin with. Adding additional water or ice will boost the flavor-enhancing effect even further.

As for just how much water to add, the paper doesn’t specify. Whiskey lovers will just have to conduct some experiments of their own to see which ratios suit their palate.

[h/t NPR]

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Big Questions
If Beer and Bread Use Almost the Exact Same Ingredients, Why Isn't Bread Alcoholic?
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If beer and bread use almost the exact same ingredients (minus hops) why isn't bread alcoholic?

Josh Velson:

All yeast breads contain some amount of alcohol. Have you ever smelled a rising loaf of bread or, better yet, smelled the air underneath dough that has been covered while rising? It smells really boozy. And that sweet smell that fresh-baked bread has under the yeast and nutty Maillard reaction notes? Alcohol.

However, during the baking process, most of the alcohol in the dough evaporates into the atmosphere. This is basically the same thing that happens to much of the water in the dough as well. And it’s long been known that bread contains residual alcohol—up to 1.9 percent of it. In the 1920s, the American Chemical Society even had a set of experimenters report on it.

Anecdotally, I’ve also accidentally made really boozy bread by letting a white bread dough rise for too long. The end result was that not enough of the alcohol boiled off, and the darned thing tasted like alcohol. You can also taste alcohol in the doughy bits of underbaked white bread, which I categorically do not recommend you try making.

Putting on my industrial biochemistry hat here, many [people] claim that alcohol is only the product of a “starvation process” on yeast once they run out of oxygen. That’s wrong.

The most common brewers and bread yeasts, of the Saccharomyces genus (and some of the Brettanomyces genus, also used to produce beer), will produce alcohol in both a beer wort
and in bread dough immediately, regardless of aeration. This is actually a surprising result, as it runs counter to what is most efficient for the cell (and, incidentally, the simplistic version of yeast biology that is often taught to home brewers). The expectation would be that the cell would perform aerobic respiration (full conversion of sugar and oxygen to carbon dioxide and water) until oxygen runs out, and only then revert to alcoholic fermentation, which runs without oxygen but produces less energy.

Instead, if a Saccharomyces yeast finds itself in a high-sugar environment, regardless of the presence of air it will start producing ethanol, shunting sugar into the anaerobic respiration pathway while still running the aerobic process in parallel. This phenomenon is known as the Crabtree effect, and is speculated to be an adaptation to suppress competing organisms
in the high-sugar environment because ethanol has antiseptic properties that yeasts are tolerant to but competitors are not. It’s a quirk of Saccharomyces biology that you basically only learn about if you spent a long time doing way too much yeast cell culture … like me.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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