Where would we be without science? Probably still thinking the earth is flat, severely lacking in medical advancements, and drinking whiskey the completely wrong way. But rest assured, whiskey drinkers, science is here to quell all your imbibing insecurities.
There’s a bunch of science behind the study that you can read more about here, but for the science-averse among us, there exists a simpler explanation. Whiskey’s taste can be attributed to the presence of a molecule called guaiacol, and like any good ambivalent, guaiacol both likes and dislikes water. Adding water to that rocks glass actually pushes the guaiacol to the top of your drink, strengthening the whiskey's aroma and flavor.
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But there’s a definite sweet spot. The study shows that adding just a few drops of water to your glass will deliver the best taste. Pour too much, and the guaiacol gets dispersed throughout the glass and dilutes the flavor. However, feel free to experiment with the proportions that work best for you.
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.