Vanishing Spirits: Gin

Photographer Ernie Button has spent years exploring the patterns left by evaporating scotch. A team of researchers found that the uniformity of scotch whisky’s stain requires three ingredients: alcohol to drive concentration gradients, surfactants to pull particulates away from the drop’s edge, and polymers to help stick particles to the glass.

Button wondered whether other spirits might produce similar patterns, and, indeed, some do. The photos above are stains left behind by evaporated gin that’s been aged for a year in oak casks. The patterns are extremely similar in appearance to those from aged scotch whiskies, suggesting that the same fluid dynamical effects are at play here, despite the difference in liquor. But do all grain spirits make these patterns? Check back tomorrow to find out. (Image, research, and submission credit: E. Button; see also)

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