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Science Moment – Cocktail Density

Posted by Reese on 2009-05-28 @ 08:04pm

So, last night I noticed something really interesting when pouring one of my sample Singapore Slings.  I mixed up the cocktail per the recipe and, although this might lose my cocktail nerd card (again), I poured the entire contents of the tin into my collins glass, ice and all.  Then I noticed something truly intriguing.  The ice was at the bottom of the glass, under the cocktail.  Slowly, over the course of about 3-4 minutes the air in the cocktail finally bubbled out and the ice rose to the top.

Singapore Sling (Ice Rising Combined)

Another interesting note followed that.  I added a couple cubes more ice to the drink and found that the foam was so thick that the ice wouldn’t drop down in to the cocktail.  Now, I can offer a bit of explanation for the first bit of weirdness.  It’s a simple matter of density.  Since there is so much air in the drink in the way of tiny bubbles the cocktail is actually less dense than the ice and therefore the ice sinks.

Now to the question of why are there so many bubbles in this cocktail at all…I have no idea.  I can only speculate that it’s due in large part to the pineapple juice.

Anyone have a better or more complete explanation?