We all have that one friend, the one who insists on mixing expensive, high-end bourbon with Coke.
As purists it’s hard not to get offended by such behavior. Just think of all the years a premium whiskey has to wait – patiently cradled in American oak. All those skilled hands that lovingly craft and pamper it. And your friend repays such selfless effort by using a mixer that can take chrome off a bumper. Despair no more. Now there’s a way to avenge the best of bourbons – The Time Bomb Cocktail.
It’s a simple, yet deviant plan. Take an ice cube tray and add water as usual, then drop a Mentos mint into each reservoir. Place the tray in the freezer and await your sweet revenge. When the aforementioned transgressor shows up, offer to make their favorite drink. Surreptitiously slip in a couple of your specially engineered ice cubes and wait. When the cubes melt and the mints are revealed – kaboom! Take that, you bourbon violator you.
Here’s the science behind our wicked and wily cocktail. All the carbon dioxide in soda is squeezed into the liquid and looking for a way out. It’s drawn to any tiny bumps that it can grab onto. Those tiny bumps are called nucleation sites: places the gas can grab onto and start forming bubbles. Nucleation sites can be anywhere there is a high surface area in a very small volume. The surface of a Mentos mint is sprayed with over 40 microscopic layers of liquid sugar. That makes it not only sweet, but also covered with tons of nucleation sites.
In other words, there are so many microscopic nooks and crannies on the surface of a Mentos that an incredible number of bubbles form around the Mentos when exposed to carbonated soda. All that pressure has got to go somewhere, and before you know it, you’ve got a big bourbon and Coke geyser exploding in your face. Sure, it’s another terrible waste of good bourbon whiskey, but it just might get your point across. Think of it as a necessary sacrifice. One premium bourbon dies so that others may live. You my friend, have just done humanity an enormous favor.