It may be the most chemically complex cocktail in the world. The Bloody Mary is a "blend of hundreds of flavor compounds" and engages nearly every human taste sensation from sweet to salty, sour to savory, according to Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D.
If you've ever played bartender, you know the ingredients include tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice, horseradish, black pepper, and celery salt. The Bloody Mary is garnished with celery or a slice of lemon.
As an an expert on the chemical analysis of flavors, Da Costa decided to analyze this popular drink, reviewing the composition of the ingredients and highlighting their sensory attributes. He presented his findings today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)in Anaheim, CA.
Since most of us aren't chemists, the big question for us is.... what did Da Costa learn about making the best tasting Bloody Mary? Here are his top 5 secrets.
● Make it fresh. Chemically, the Bloody Mary is a “highly unstable” concoction, and the quality tends to deteriorate quickly.
● Ice it up. Serving Bloody Marys on ice helps to slow down the chemical reactions involving acids in tomato juice and other ingredients that degrade the taste.
● Mind your mixes. If you use a cocktail mix, add some fresh ingredients tol enhance the flavor and aroma.
● Splurge on the juice. Tomato juice makes up most of the Bloody Mary’s volume, so use high quality juice that has a deep, rich flavor.
● Economize on the vodka. The intense, spicy flavor of a Bloody Mary masks the vodka, and using premium vodka makes little sense.