Mary Katherine Morris Photography
Mary Katherine Morris Photography

Why Do We Use Fresh-Squeezed Citrus in Cocktails?

Mary Katherine Morris Photography
Mary Katherine Morris Photography

It’s less bitter and more delicious than its bottled counterpart! After juice is squeezed, a chemical in the limonoid family begins to build up. It’s thought that citrus fruits contain chemicals that react with air to form a limonoid in a process known as enzymatic bittering. Thus, the longer the juice is out of the fruit, the more bitter it gets.

For some juices, a little bit of bitterness isn’t a bad thing. In blind taste tests, subjects preferred four-hour-old lemon and lime juice over fresh squeezed. It’s thought that a small amount of the chemicals limonin (in lime) or nomilin (in lemon) is present after several hours. Since low levels of bitterness can suppress sourness, nuanced flavors that are overpowered in fresh juice can be tasted if you give them a little time.

Aging affects orange and grapefruit juice in slightly different ways. Since orange juice contains significantly more sugar than acid, adding even slight bitterness can make it taste worse. On the other hand, grapefruit juice’s sour taste profile can be enhanced by bitterness.

Each fruit’s unique flavor is defined by the concentration of different acids within the juice. The three most common acids present in citrus are citric, succinic, and malic acids. Taste-wise, succinic acid is known best for its role in the taste of apples, while citric acid adds fruity notes and malic acid gives a sharp, tingly taste.

However, each fruit’s aroma impacts its taste more than its acid content does. When whole, the fruit’s essential oils are stored in tiny sacs in its flesh and skin. As it's juiced, these compounds are released into the liquid, which imparts the fruit’s characteristic smell and taste.

Hit the Lab

On paper, the ingredients in a classic Blood & Sand may seem completely discordant, but they come together to form a rich, smooth cocktail. Its name was most likely pulled from a 1922 movie with the same title, but little else is known about its origins. After first appearing in Henry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book, it fell into obscurity until master mixologist Dale DeGroff rediscovered the recipe in the mid-1990s.

Mary Katherine Morris Photography

Blood & Sand

.75 oz sweet vermouth
.75 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
.75 oz Heering cherry liqueur
.75 oz mild scotch

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake for 15-20 seconds or until combined. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and serve straight up.

Alexa Can Now Help You Find a Wine Pairing

Even if you enjoy wine regularly, you may not know exactly how you’re supposed to pair it with food. But you don’t have to be a sommelier to put together a good pairing at home. According to Lifehacker, you can just ask Alexa.

An Alexa skill called Wine Finder is designed to help you figure out which wine varietal would go best with whatever food you’re planning to eat. You just have to ask, “What wine goes well with … ”

Created by an app developer called Bloop Entertainment, the Amazon Echo skill features a database with 500 wine pairings. And not all of them are designed for someone working their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The skill will also help you find the proper pairing for your more casual snacks. In one demo, the skill recommends pairing nachos with a Sauvignon blanc or Zinfandel. (Note that the latter also goes well with Frito pie.)

You can also ask it to find you the perfect wine to drink with apple pie and pizza, in addition to the meats, cheeses, and other wine-pairing staples you might expect. However, if you ask it what to pair with hot dogs, it says “water,” which is an affront to hot dog connoisseurs everywhere.

There are a few other wine-pairing skills available for Alexa, including Wine Pairings, Wine Pairings (two different skills), and Wine Expert. But according to user reviews, Wine Finder is the standout, offering more and higher-quality suggestions than some of the other sommelier apps.

It’s free to enable here, so drink up.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Richard Brendon
This $56 Glass Is Perfectly Suited to All Styles of Wine
Richard Brendon
Richard Brendon

People who take their wine seriously tend to own different glasses for different types of wine. Decor website Home Stratosphere, for instance, identified 18 wine glasses—each shaped differently to complement the unique flavors and fragrances of a Bordeaux, a Burgundy, and other kinds of red, white, and dessert wines.

If you don’t want to spare the expense or the cupboard space for all those glasses, you may want to check out Richard Brendon’s $56 wine glass, which is said to be suited to all types of wine. As spotted by Fast Company, the “1 Wine Glass” is the result of a collaboration between Brendon, a London-based product designer, and wine critic Jancis Robinson.

Robinson said that when Brendon asked her to help design a range of wine glasses, she was “insistent” that they design one single glass. “I love white wine as much as red and have never understood why white wine glasses are routinely smaller than those designed for red wine,” Robinson said in a statement, adding that white wines can be just as complex as reds. “It just seems so obvious and sensible to have one single wine glass for all three colors of wine—especially when so many of us are short of storage space.”

To get it just right, they toiled with the thinness of the glass, the length of the stem, the curvature, the opening, and the overall practicality (Robinson said it had to be dishwasher safe, and indeed, the finished result is). The result is a 125ml handcrafted glass that can be used for all types of wine, including champagne, port, and sherry. The duo also designed a stemless water glass and two decanters. The items can be purchased on Richard Brendon's website.

[h/t Fast Company]


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