October 6, 2010
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Twentieth Century

I’ve been having a good time exploring cocktails lately. The cocktail worlds is an interesting intersection of the culinary and the literary, with lots of good writing and quite a bit of interesting flavor. Because everything is cold and wet, lots of dimensions of the experience are controlled and we really can focus on flavor.

It’s interesting that we have three color receptors in our eyes, and everyone has words that correspond to red, green and blue. But we have five taste receptors, and while the words for four of these tastes are pretty common – sweet, sour, bitter, and salty – the fifth receptor, which detects umami or “meaty” flavor – is really known only in Japanese.

The latest experiment was the 20th Century: gin, Lillet, lemon, and créme de cacao. I got the wrong créme de cacoa, and even though I dialed the chocolate way back, it was far too prominent. According to Twitter, Peter Merholz has been drinking Corpse Reviver #2, which replaces the chocolate with absinthe, and that’s probably a good thing if you happen to have absinthe, which I do not.

Meanwhile, I’ve been up to my neck in Javascript all day, working on that amusing project to bring Tinderbox timelines to the Web.