Cocktail Chemistry: 10 Science-Backed Tips for the Perfect Drink

To the average cocktail lover, the action behind a bar counter can seem full of magic and mystery. There’s a quick sprig of this and a small splash of that, followed by loud, vigorous shaking or a few stirs, then out pours a perfectly formed beverage. At first sip you know: There’s no way you could make anything this good at home. 

Lately, with the weather getting cooler, and no end to this pandemic in sight, many of us are missing our neighborhood haunts. Though some bars are selling cocktails to go, many of us are on our own. If we want to drink a perfect Negroni this Halloween, we’ll have to make it ourselves.

Luckily, making cocktails isn’t magic, it’s science. A great bar is just a chemistry lab; each cocktail, a perfectly replicable concoction.

To help unravel the science of drinking, Discover talked with Kevin Liu, author of

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