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The Chemistry of Cocktail Foams

Science Hits The Bar

20-Jun-2016

© Compound Interest

The Chemistry of Cocktail Foams

Ever wondered about the chemistry behind cocktails? If so, then this mini-series of graphics is for you! As part of the Pint of Science festival taking place in May, I’m running an event at La Raza in Cambridge (UK) looking at how chemistry can be used to make ‘molecular cocktails’. I’ve also created some graphics for it – here’s the first, looking at the chemistry behind creating foams and airs.

Want to top your cocktails with a light, airy foam? This can be done by mixing a particular group of chemical agents known as surfactants into our cocktail. These are chemicals you’ve probably come across before, whether you realise it or not, as they’re used in countless home products: toothpaste, shower gel, washing up liquid, and more besides. At a simple level, in these products and in our cocktails, they’re performing a simple job: helping bubbles form without bursting.

Topics
  • lecithin
  • surface tension
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