This Is Why Gin & Tonics Taste So Good (According to Science)

Whether it’s been a long day at work, or the sun’s just come out and you’re sat in the garden at the weekend, nothing can quite beat the refreshing taste of sipping on a G&T.

But why exactly do we love it so much? Sure, Gin on its own is delightful – especially if you have your favourite one to hand – but not many of us are big fans of tonic on its own. What exactly makes mixing the two together so magical?

Well, it seems it can all be explained with science (maybe we should have all paid more attention in science at school) and we’re here to tell you exactly how.

Why we love Gin & Tonics according to science

A Chemistry professor from the American University named Matthew Hartings has summed it up by explaining that although Gin and Tonic taste different, the actual chemicals which affect the taste within each liquid have similar chemical structures. When mixed, these molecules attract each other and so the mixing is actually happening at a molecular level as well!

The flavour molecules that are found in quinine (in the tonic water) and the flavour molecules from the juniper berries (in the gin) once mixed combine to produce the wonderful taste that we all love. The combined flavour is actually different from the flavours of each combined due to this, so many of us who are not fans of tonic water or of neat gin may still actually like a G&T. So this is why when you taste a G&T it doesn’t taste like gin with tonic added, it tastes like something unique.

It’s similar to how food pairings work, it all comes down the science, shared chemicals and how certain molecules within foods or drinks behave with each other.

This is how it happens:

The Science

The diagram above (by Quartz) shows that the purple molecules are flatter and these attract each other, the red molecules are more random shapes which attract other similar red molecules. These purple molecules in gin and in tonic attract one and other and form a new taste, the same happens to the purple molecules in each. Hence these new formations make your G&T taste different to each part individually.

Fancy trying some other pairings which work together brilliantly? Why not try meat and chocolate, pineapple and blue cheese, strawberries and coriander, or why not treat yourself to some white wine and caviar!

Source: & Quartz

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