Data Driven Cocktails?

We have some awesome perks at Jana. My favorite might be the company-wide happy hour each Friday evening. A different person gets to pick the featured cocktail each week and then we prepare a big batch to share. Our “Cocktail Committee” has a few volunteer bartenders that help to prepare and serve the drinks.

A couple of years ago, I became interested in cocktails; both in drinking them (of course!) and learning about what makes a cocktail taste the way it does. I’m an engineer, so I favor an analytical approach even in my hobbies. Last year I read Liquid Intelligence, a science-based book about cocktails. I love this book! It taught me many of the core principles behind cocktails like alcohol content, acidity, sugar content, and dilution.

In keeping with one of our company values “measure it” I thought it might be interesting to break down a couple of recent Jana cocktails to see what makes them tick. If you’ve ever studied chemistry, this format may look familiar.

Apple Brandy Sour

This cocktail takes the tried-and-true whiskey sour recipe and uses apple brandy instead. This works because both the whiskey and apple brandy are 50% alcohol by volume (abv). Fun fact: all spirits that are “Bottled In Bond” are 50% abv.

Laird’s Bottled In Bond Straight Apple Brandy
50% abv
lemon juice
6% acid
simple syrup
50% sugar
egg white


Mix volume before shaking: 130ml
Finished volume after shaking: 198ml
Dilution: 34%
Start: 23.1% abv
Finish: 15.0% abv

Ernest Daiquiri

This drink is a little twist on the traditional Hemingway Daiquiri, in which we have substituted lemon juice for lime juice. Because both lemon and lime juice are 6% acid, you can use them interchangeably to make the drink taste different without changing the level of acidity.

Flor de Caña Rum
40% abv
lemon juice
6% acid
grapefruit juice
Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
32% abv


Mix volume before shaking: 112.5ml
Finished volume after shaking: 174ml
Dilution: 35%
Start: 25.6% abv
Finish: 16.5% abv

If you get excited about taking a science-based approach to making drinks, you might love working at Jana. If you like trying new and delicious cocktails each week, you might love working at Jana. Either way, we’re hiring!


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