Art of Enjoying Cocktails
Cocktail Myths Explained
Updated Jul. 8, 2015
Intentional fermentation, or making alcohol, dates back to the Neolithic Age, or around 10,000 B.C. For perspective, it’s older than the wheel. In that stretch across centuries, misconceptions and myths about alcohol have come and gone, some fading into obscurity, while others have come to take their place.
We’ve decided to take a look at some of the drinking myths still believed today, and hopefully dispel some of the misinformation.
Tequila is made from cactus.
It’s true that Tequila is made from a desert plant, but that plant is a blue agave (a lily, actually), not a cactus. Mexican law says agave tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco, Mexico and limited surrounding counties. 300 million plus agave plants are harvested every year.
More expensive spirits are better.
Oh, contraire. More expensive alcohol is a different expression of a type of alcohol, not necessarily a better expression. There are various kinds of vodka, gin, whiskeys and the like. How it’s made, where and other unique factors go into different expressions, which may cost more to produce, but price should never be a factor in judging which liquor actually tastes better.
Taste happens only with the taste buds.
When it comes to spirits, taste is the most important element. However, our sense of smell has a drastic affect on how we taste. That’s because our brains needs both the nose and the taste buds to accurately detect the flavors of a given food or drink. This is due to two separate molecules contained in food, tastants and odorants. The tongue senses tastants and the nose senses odorants. Our brain combines inputs from these senses simultaneously and creates the perception we call ‘taste’. If your brain detects one, but not the other, like when you have a head cold and your sinuses are stuffed up, you only get half of what your brain needs for flavor, so what you consume tastes bland and not very good.
To get the most enjoyment out of your next cocktail, close your mouth, stick your nose in the glass, and inhale deeply, you should detect hints of unique flavors, some strong, some subtle. With your nose still in the glass, open your mouth and breathe only through your lips. You should be able to almost taste it. If you’ve been relying on only your tongue when drinking spirits, give it a try. We bet you will enjoy your cocktails like never before.