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Scientists Are Developing the First Beer You Can Drink in Space

Scientists Are Developing the First Beer You Can Drink in Space



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The space beer start-up expects to have bottles ready to take off in 2019

Vostok Space Beer has a bottle designed for space.

When the first tourists get to space, they could well be able to crack open a cold one while gazing out at the wondrous expanse of the universe, thanks to an Australian startup dedicated to making the world’s first space beer.

According to Grub Street, 4 Pines Beer and Saber Astronautics decided to team up to create a beer that could be enjoyed in space, from a bottle and everything. They've named their creation Vostok Space Beer, after the first manned space vessel.

It turns out there are a lot of challenges to making a beer that can be enjoyed in space. For starters, a person can’t pour a liquid in zero-gravity. Assuming space tourists wouldn’t want to drink their beer from a squeeze pouch, Saber’s scientists have been working on a “space beer bottle” that would let people drink from the bottle just like they do on Earth. Their prototype includes inserts that “wick” the beer into the bottle’s neck, allowing it to flow in a zero-gravity environment. It’s shaped like a traditional Earth beer bottle for the sake of familiarity, and it has a removable glass attached to the bottom, so space tourists can take it home as a souvenir.

4 Pines Beer also had challenges to deal with in creating a beer that would taste good in space. According to Vostok, a zero-gravity environment dulls the senses, and a person’s body absorbs alcohol differently in space. Their signature product is a dry stout with a chocolaty flavor that is good enough that it’s reportedly won several competitions here on Earth already.

Vostok has reportedly been working on creating the world’s first space beer for eight years, and now they’re looking to raise $1 million on IndieGoGo to fund production of the world’s first space beer. For a $90 contribution, a supporter can actually get one of the bottles. The bottle will be empty, but it would make an excellent conversation piece. And even if you’re not planning on going to space, you might be able to use it to enjoy another beverage, like one of the best beers in every state.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.


Drink Science With Team Lyan: The Best Way to Carbonate Your Cocktail

The pop of a Champagne cork. The slow hiss of a beer bottle opening. The celebratory sound of pent-up carbon dioxide being released from a bottle is as commonplace as a pint of lager.

Let's Get Fizzical

Bay Cosmo

Gin and Tonic'd Elderflower

Southern Comfort

As it applies to mixed drinks, the use of carbonation in cocktails is as old as the practice itself. But bubbles have traditionally come by way of seltzer, beer, sparkling wine or soda as a means of lengthening a drink. What about achieving fizz without the addition of these reliable mixers?

There are two distinct ways of carbonating a cocktail, both of them borrowed from sparkling wine. The first is achieved by fermentation under pressure. This is how Champagne is made and was originally “discovered” by Christopher Merret, an Englishman who wrote about it in 1662. In short: take some yeasty liquid, add some sugar and keep it bottled under increasing pressure until it’s about to explode.

The second method is forced carbonation. This involves filling a strong container with your drink, plus carbon dioxide. Champagne’s rogue cousins such as prosecco and cava sometimes employ this method, on a larger scale, to ensure speed and consistency.

At White Lyan, we experimented with both methods to great success. Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened. By contrast, our Bay Cosmo—a mix of Mr Lyan Vodka, cranberry and bay leaf cordial and grapefruit—was made in 18-liter Cornelius kegs, wherein we force-carbonated nearly 80 units (served individually in 200ml bottles) at a time. We used this high-volume method to prepare our “Hi-Balls” section, which included five to six force-carbonated drinks and was a regular menu fixture at White Lyan.

While fermenting cocktails at home is certainly doable, there’s no argument that force carbonation is the more foolproof approach for home bartenders, as it is both faster and leaves less room for error. Below are our best practices for carbonating cocktails at home, along with three recipes.

The Supplies

*There is also the other option of using a Sodastream, but more often than not this results in sticky walls and ceilings rather than an adequately fizzy cocktail. Unless you’re lucky enough to have one of the secret squirrel machines still in development, stick to the iSi.

The Rules

Mind the proof. Carbon dioxide will not dissolve in alcohol as well as in water. That’s not to say you can’t make Scotch fizzy, it’s just a hell of a lot harder. Consider this when you’re deciding on your recipe. The cut off point is about 15 percent ABV (think of the Negroni Sbagliato as a good starting point). Anything above this becomes difficult to work with, and the combination of bubbles and a higher proof isn’t particularly pleasant.

Keep it clear. It is very hard to keep cloudy liquids carbonated. All those bits that make the drink cloudy are swirling nucleation sites just waiting to make the carbon dioxide boil back out of solution. Each tiny little particle in the liquid is an angry agitator making the drink froth up, and once you get it fizzy, it’ll pour like a river of foam. So avoid syrups with lots of sediment or fruit purees, and consider replacing citrus with an acid solution, if possible.

Lower the sugar. How sweet a liquid is will also affect the final product. The more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas. Sugar will change the texture of the liquid and make it extra foamy due to an increase in surface tension. This isn’t to suggest that you forego sugar, just be aware of going too syrupy in texture. The same applies for other sweeteners like honey.

Chill it down. The most common mistake when force-carbonating a cocktail is doing so at too high a temperature. The closer the liquid is to freezing, the better. A fizzy drink is essentially regular liquid with carbon dioxide dissolved into it, much the same as salt water is water with salt dissolved into it. The relationship for gas is opposite to solids, however. Where you would normally heat liquid up to dissolve a solid, liquid needs to be cooled as much as possible to help dissolve gas.