Friday, March 02, 2012

text of a letter I sent to the Baltimore Sun

Dear Baltimore Sun,

Doug Atwell of the Fells Point bar Rye scoffs at chemists ("A new class of cocktails", Feb 29), but perhaps if he knew more about chemistry he would be a better mixologist.

He would then know, for example, that the cooling power of ice cubes comes primarily from the phase transition of melting from solid to liquid, so while it is true that ice cubes with larger surface area chill a drink faster, it is precisely because they are also diluting the drink faster.

High-quality, natural ingredients are no less governed by the laws of chemistry than brightly-colored, synthetic ones are.  Chemistry is not scary, boring, or unnatural; it's a very useful way of understanding how the world works.

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