Flavor Expert’s “Chemistry of Cocktails” 2014 Tour Kicks Off in London

Expert flavor maker Steve Pearce will kick off his 2014 “Chemistry of Cocktails” lecture tour at the Annual Joint Lecture of The British Society of Flavourists and The British Society of Perfumers on Jan. 23, 2014, at The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Birdcage Walk, London.

Pearce is a biochemist and the co-founder and CEO of Omega Ingredients, which specializes in creating and supplying natural flavors, ingredients and fragrances for manufacturers of food, beverages and cosmetics products worldwide.

The “Chemistry of Cocktails” lecture will give mixologists and flavorists the chance to learn about the chemical composition of cocktails and explores the origins and early pioneers of the cocktail, exactly what makes a good cocktail great plus which small mistakes can ruin a cocktail. The lecture goes on to answer the ‘shaken or stirred’ question, and also covers variables like temperature, order of addition, and layering in cocktails. It culminates in an audience taste test involving Pearce’s own version of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, as featured in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Other cocktails he will be creating contain some of the ingredients offered by Omega Ingredients that are very popular in both the drinks trade and food service industry, including Wasabi Spirit, which Pearce uses in his own version of the Bloody Mary called Bloody Samurai.

In terms of the balance of flavor in cocktails, after much work experimenting through trial and error by Pearce he estimates that the ideal cocktail should be composed of six parts spirit, four parts sweet material and three parts sour material. He demonstrates this ratio as he creates cocktails in front of his audience.

Pearce, a biochemist with 30 years of experience, was one of the first people to be awarded the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential through the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at this year’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago in July. Pearce is also an author of many papers and frequent presenter at international conferences and an adviser to a diverse range of commercial clients. He is also a chartered scientist and fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry, past president of The British Society of Flavourists, which in 1989 awarded him the William Littlejohn Memorial Silver Medal, a member of The British Society of Perfumers, and past president of The British Society of Cosmetic Scientists.

Most recently Omega Ingredients was commissioned by Friends Reunited to create The “Scents of a Decade” of the '70s (Night Fever), '80s (Vice) and '90s (Take Spice). 

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