“The Scientific Impulse” series explores the wonderings of more or less science-ignorant liberal arts graduates in order to get at the process of hypothesis. There is much fun to be had in resisting the temptation to know, resisting the temptation to settle bar disputes immediately, resisting the temptation to Google. Consequently, this series has the alternate effect of mudding the Google waters with completely inaccurate explanations for things, even though we do our best to put a plausible patina on it all. Sort of like in White Noise and the familial distortions of truth.
In this installment of “Explorations in Food and Drink”, friendly bloggers Sarah and I contemplate gin fizz, orange blossom water, and the weird osmosis-like process that happens when you infuse things (see, here I am reaching with my limited scientific knowledge and being wildly inaccurate).
Leave your best and worst guestimates in the comments.
i tried a new drink in nola
called a gin fizz
that’s like a chemical wonderdrink
Jared: whats in it?
Sarah: like gin and fizz and froth and whip
i will check the real ingredients
but it’s kind of like a foamy milkshake
Jared: 1 part gin, 2 parts fizz, dash of froth and whip?
Sarah: gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water
haha–that’s more accurate, yours
gin is really cheap here ill have to try to make it
although getting my hands on orange flower water……?!?
Sarah: haha that one could be tricky
but i feel like our bartender may have just done a twist of orange
so i bet that would be a good sub
Jared: how do people make orange flower water anyway?
or rose water?
Sarah: what a fine question!
Jared: i love the smell of orange flowers, id like to get into this orange flower water
Sarah: yeah totes
maybe you just steep the flowers in water for a certain amount of time?
Jared: i mean that must be it, right?
think the water has to be hot?
Sarah: i don’t know, does that make it more porous or something?
i guess it must
these are the questions that baffled me on seventh grade science quizzes
Jared: porous? the water?
Sarah: like, more open to suggestion
of other elements
Jared: hrmmm is that what happens with tea, then?
Sarah: must be!
yeah so maybe you should pick some orange blossoms
stick them in some hot water
and wait a couple…nights?
i have no idea how long it would take to infuse
Jared: well it would probably be trial and error
i wonder what the property is that makes some things infuse quickly and others more slowly
i mean, tea takes a minute or two
Sarah: but not sun tea!
Jared: sun tea!?
Sarah: sun tea is when you put water and tea out in the sun
it tastes the same as regular tea, but takes longer. but you can make more of it
Jared: if water becomes more porous and open to suggestion and other elements when hot, maybe some elements are more likely to give themselves up to water than other things. i dont really think its a solubility issue… is it?
Sarah: yes you have such a good point there jared
clearly some elements are more hesitant than others
Jared: also, i have not seen any sort of fruit bearing plant anywhere in metro manila, so that presents a problem for my orange blossom tea. plus, id want to be very sure that there were no pesticides on my blossom