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  • {♫Intro♫}

  • If you've ever sauntered up to the bar and

  • ordered a whiskey neat,

  • you probably looked really cool doing it.

  • Butsadly, you ordered a sub-par drink.

  • Because it turns out a little water can make your whiskey more flavorful.

  • It's all thanks to the weird chemistry of alcohol solutions.

  • Whether it's an aged Glenfiddich or your standard Jack Daniels, whiskeys can all be

  • boiled down to three basic components.

  • Alcohols, especially ethanol, to get you tipsy; water, to keep you from dying; and some yummy

  • carbon-containing compounds to add flavor.

  • In scotches, for example, one of the key flavor compounds is guaiacol, which essentially looks

  • like a ring of carbon atoms with a couple of oxygens attached.

  • It's largely responsible for that distinctive, smoky flavor.

  • But what's most important about guaiacol is that it's amphipathic: part of it interacts

  • with water, while another part repels water.

  • And that means it behaves differently depending on the concentration of water it's dissolved

  • in.

  • To figure out what this all means for your glass of whiskey, a team of researchers carried

  • out a set of computer simulations that modeled various combinations of water, ethanol, and

  • guaiacol.

  • They already knew that water and ethanol never really fully mix.

  • And the shape of alcohol molecules means that they tend to collect at the liquid's surface,

  • a state that minimizes the mixture's overall energy.

  • But while guaiacol can form relatively strong hydrogen bonds with both water and ethanol,

  • the computer data suggested that its carbon ring forms an additional interaction with

  • the alcohol.

  • And that meant that, at moderate alcohol concentrations, it followed the ethanol up towards the drink's

  • surfaceputting it in a prime position to hit your tongue when you take a sip.

  • The scientists found this concentration effect happened up to about forty-five percent alcohol-by-volume,

  • which, in whiskey terms, would be ninety proof.

  • And that might explain why whiskeys and scotches, which are distilled at one hundred thirty

  • to one hundred fifty proof, are usually diluted down during the bottling process.

  • They literally taste better that way, like you can taste them better...

  • Annnnd that wasn't all the researchers found.

  • As the simulated whiskey continued to be diluted past the forty-five percent mark, the guaiacol

  • in it became less and less bound to ethanol.

  • So not only was it at the surface, it lost some of its connections to the liquid around

  • it.

  • That's key because the surface of a liquid is also where evaporation happens.

  • And the flavor you experience when you drink something isn't just what you taste with

  • your tongue.

  • A lot of it depends on the compounds you smell.

  • While the time period studied was too short to actually see evaporation happen, the authors

  • said diluting from forty-five percent to just twenty-seven percent alcohol would likely

  • increase the amount of guaiacol that becomes part of the whiskey's smelland therefore,

  • a bigger part of its flavor.

  • And all that means that if you want the most flavorful whiskey experience, you probably

  • want to add in some water instead of drinking it neat.

  • You might even consider watering down other boozes.

  • Lots of flavor-causing substances are amphipathic molecules, so the authors speculated that

  • the tasty components of other drinks could behave a lot like guaiacol.

  • Of course, taste is a complicated, personal thing and some ways of adding waterlike

  • dropping in an ice cubemight have other, unexpected effects.

  • So, really, just do what tastes best to you.

  • And drink responsibly!

  • And before I go, I want to lift a glass to our wonderful community of patrons who support

  • SciShow on Patreon.

  • Our patrons help ensure the team here can keep making fun, educational science videos

  • like this one.

  • So if you liked what you just watched and want to help SciShow keep making videos like

  • it, you can head over to to learn about joining our patron community.

  • And FYI, we now have a Discord for our patrons, too!

  • So you can check out exclusive channels and talk about SciShow and science with other

  • patrons and some of our SciShow team.

  • We hope to see you there!

  • {♫Outro♫}



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B1 中級

科学はウイスキーを「すっきり」と飲むべきではないと言っている (Science Says You Shouldn't Drink Your Whiskey "Neat")

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日