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Gamma Radiation Turns Cheap Booze Into Good Stuff Within Minutes

By 01.04.13

Far be it from us to insult cachaca, Brazil’s signature liquor. That said, it does benefit, greatly, from being left to age in barrels.

Or you could blast it with gamma radiation and have better spirits in minutes. Yes, finally, we live in a world with Hulk Booze.

In a technique we have little doubt was discovered after drinking a lot of cut-rate cachaca, scientists at the Nuclear Energy Center at the University of Sao Paolo have discovered that blasting the cheap stuff with gamma radiation for a few minutes is the equivalent of aging it in barrels. And no, it’s not dangerous:

“Tests have shown this cachaca can be consumed right after it is irradiated,” Valter Artur [the genius who discovered this] was quoted as saying in Monday’s edition of the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

So how does this alcoholic miracle happen? Through the magic of chemistry. The gamma rays speed up the chemical reactions the liquor would normally go through over time by ionizing it.

So, perfectly safe, makes the stuff taste better, there’s got to be a catch. And that catch would be the fact these machines cost $3.5 million a pop. That would drive up the cost of the cut-rate stuff substantially, and Brazil is like everywhere else: There’s got to be something on the bottom shelf to prop up the others.

Of course, if Brazil’s distilleries were smart, they’d simply come to Disney, cut a deal, and have Mark Ruffalo do a series of ads. After all, wouldn’t you trust Bruce Banner to know from smooth?


TAGSAlcoholbetter living through chemistryscience

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