Mad Midori Sour

Introduction: Mad Midori Sour

About: I'm a twentysomething baking obsessive, working as a baker and cake decorator, and gradually fattening up my housemates one recipe idea at a time.

Title of experiment: Mad Midori Sour

Date: 02/01/2012

Name(s): Cluracon + Chemical Ceri

Abstract: The mad midori sour is a scientific twist on a classic cocktail. Combining the fluorescence of B12 and quinine with the effervescent glory of a simple science fair volcano, adding a kick of midori & a splash of sweet syrup for good measure, this is a potion perfect for any potty Professor.

Objective: What is the ultimate mad science cocktail?

Hypothesis: A variation of the midori sour cocktail, fluorescent and frothing, will provide the true mad scientist experience and result in a delicious alcoholic chemical compound, perfect for celebrating the New Year/latest discovery/rise of your zombie army (delete as appropriate).

(in summary: baker + designer + instructables + bank holiday = midori madness)

Step 1: Materials & Equipment

  • Midori
  • Vitamin B12 capsules
  • Citric Acid (1/4 tsp)
  • Lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • Grapes
  • Sugar (3 tbsp)
  • Bicarbonate of soda (1/4 tsp)
  • Tonic water
  • Water
  • Saucepan & hob
  • Bowls/glasses
  • Sieve
  • Spoons
  • Knife
  • Juicer
  • Pestle/rolling pin
  • UV light
  • Pipette/dropper
  • Vessels for drink & ingredients (flask & test tubes if you fancy the whole mad science look)
  • Experiment instruction card (provided here for printing)
  • Spirit of scientific adventure an advantage

Step 2: Method: Grape Syrup

To flavour the cocktail, along with the sweet melon of the Midori we have added a simple grape syrup.

To make the syrup, first crush some grapes in a bowl with a pestle or rolling pin.

Squeeze the juice of the grapes through a sieve into a small saucepan. You will want about half a cup of grape juice.

Add 3 tbsp of sugar to the pan, and put over a medium heat.

Heat the mixture, keeping an eye on it until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes clear. Continue to bubble for a further few minutes to let a little colour develop, and then turn off and leave the syrup to cool.

Step 3: Method: Ingredients Prep

Next you must prepare the other ingredients.

Squeeze half a lemon to get your acid reactive, and transfer the juice to an easily pourable container.

Take your B12 capsules, cut them open and extract the vitamin inside. Dissolve this in a little water to make a simple additive for the cocktail.

Step 4: Method: Lab Set Up

Before you begin the experiment, make sure you have your lab space prepared:

  • Measure out the ingredients into some appropriate receptacles.
  • Have a flask or glass ready in which you can mix the cocktail.
  • Print out the instruction sheet.
  • Position and switch on the UV light.

Now you are ready to begin. (For clarity, the steps will be shown under both UV and normal lights)

Step 5: Method: Chemical Cocktail (steps 1-3)

1. Add a measure of Midori to the conical flask/other drinking vessel.

2. To this add some grape syrup, enough to suit your own taste for sweetness.

3. Stopper the flask and shake the mixture to combine, this is the flavour base of the cocktail.

Step 6: Method: Chemical Cocktail (steps 4-8)

4. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the solution. This is the alkaline base, to create the dramatic foaming reaction with the citrus acid later.

5. Stir the mixture to distribute the powder.

6. Using your pipette or dropper, add around 5 pipettes of the B12 solution to the flask. This will begin the eerie glow, a result of the fluorescent vitamin.

7. Pour in about 50 ml of tonic water. The quinine in this also fluoresces, adding further glow.

8. Stopper the bottle and shake the formula gently to combine.

Step 7: Method: Chemical Cocktail (steps 9-10)

9. Finally, pour the citric acid and lemon juice into the flask. The acid will react with the baking soda to create a dramatic reaction.

10. Stopper the flask if appropriate and await the reaction.

Step 8: Results

As you can see in the following video, the reaction between the bicarbonate of soda (the base) and the acid in the lemon juice and citric acid creates a dramatic boiling and bubbling affect, which sends the cocktail foaming out of its flask. Combined with the eerie glow of the B12 and quinine, this is truly a mad scientists dream drink. And in the ultimate test, the sweetness of the melon and grape set against the sour citrus and fizz of the tonic make it a most enjoyable experiment to perform.

Step 9: Conclusion

In conclusion, this has been a most successful experiment. We were satisfied with the appearance and taste of the drink, and enjoyed the mad rush of power in creating it.

If repeating the experiment, the amount of bicarbonate of soda could be reduced, and a careful eye should be kept on the quantity of lemon juice added, to prevent too ferocious a reaction from spilling large amounts of the drink, wasting what could be consumed. For a more plutonium like glow more B12 can be added, or the tonic water could be substituted for an energy drink containing B vitamins. For a truly sour kick, omit the grape syrup all together, or substitute the sweet Midori for a strong spirit and some food colouring.

Overall the hypothesis was proved, and the conclusion was drawn that cocktails and chemistry sets should be combined more often. 

Make, drink & enjoy!

Step 10: Resources

First, apologies to any scientist for our bastardization of chemical compounds, the scientific process and the layout of lab reports. It has been a long time since GCSE chemistry.

Our mad science equipment came from some frantic late night googling & braving London on a bank holiday - the conical flasks are from The Science Museum (always an amazing inspiration); the test tubes from Urban Outfitters; and citric acid, pipettes & syringes can be picked up from any pharmacy. Equipment for the presentation set up can be found in general art supply & electronics stores.

This recipe uses small amounts of B12 and quinine, but as with anything it can be overdone, accumulating in the body with various side affects. However, if you are drinking enough of these to worry about the B12 I'd be more concerned about the state of your liver after all that Midori.

For extra crazy science points we just didn't have the energy for, make the grape syrup from plasma grapes.

Much to my housemate's surprise, Midori can be a bit hard to get hold of.It can be substituted with a spirit of liqueur of your choice. To keep the classic mad scientist green, add a few drops of food colouring.

The Mad Science Fair

Participated in the
The Mad Science Fair

Make It Glow Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Glow Challenge

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