The American Chemical Society unveils a scientifically perfect Bloody MaryS

To ring in the International Year of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society is celebrating the practical applications of chemistry by giving tips on the perfect Bloody Mary.

Kids, the American Chemical Society has a message for you: Don't drink. Adults, the American Chemical Society has a slightly different message: Don't drink unless you can get it right.

Mixing drinks in your mouth by taking alternate shots of vodka and spritzes of lime juice is not okay. Leaving the crust of salt off the rim of a glass full of margarita is lazy. Failing to chill a martini glass - what, were you raised in a barn? But one of the most complicated and crucial drinks is a Bloody Mary. Not only does it have nearly all the tastes - sweet, salt, sour and umami - packed into one little glass, it's perfectly acceptable to down one of these as breakfast.

A quick recipe for the the drink:

1 oz vodka
5 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
pinch celery salt
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
2 shakes Tobasco sauce
ground black pepper

Serve it over ice and garnish it with a celery stick and a lemon wedge.

The Bloody Mary not only has a rich flavor, but you can smell it coming to you. This is, according to the American Chemical Society, due to all the volatile compounds in it that leap out of the drink and head around the room, looking for people to entice. But the lack of stability of the compounds in the drink mean that it's vital to make the drink fresh. The ACS also strongly suggests that the whole concoction be chilled at every stage. The chemical reactions involving acid can be slowed if the drink stays cool enough. And make sure the tomato juice - the main bulk of the drink - is top notch.

And where to scrimp? Strangely enough, the booze. Cheap vodka has to fight its way through Tobasco, Worcestershire, and often a crust of celery salt around the glass. The actual alcohol part of the Bloody Mary is so inconsequential that different regions just sub in whatever is on hand. The Bloody Geisha uses sake. The Bloody Maureen uses Guinness. The Bloody Molly uses Irish whiskey. Apparently, as long as you get the filler right, you can use any bloody thing.

Via the American Chemical Society.

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