Why does a drop of wa­ter im­prove the taste of whisky?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

Whisky is pre­dom­i­nantly wa­ter and ethanol. One end of the ethanol mol­e­cule is hy­drophilic (wa­ter-loving) and the other hy­dropho­bic (wa­ter-hat­ing). As a re­sult, the ethanol tends to form a thin layer at the sur­face of the whisky, with the hy­dropho­bic ends point­ing up into the air. Else­where in the tip­ple, it clumps to­gether, form­ing a so-called mi­celle, with the hy­drophilic ends shield­ing the other parts of the mol­e­cule from the wa­ter. Many of the flavours in whisky dis­solve bet­ter in ethanol, and there­fore get locked away in the mi­celles. When wa­ter is added, this dis­rupts some of the mi­celles al­low­ing more of the ethanol to mi­grate to the sur­face of the drink, along with the volatile flavours. Scientists and whisky con­nois­seurs agree that to get max­i­mum flavour en­hance­ment, you need more than a drop of wa­ter – di­lut­ing the whisky to about 25 per cent al­co­hol is ideal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.