Absinthe is an anise-flavored alcohol that is typically served by adding cold water to form a cloudy green louche, similar to the cloudy white louche of ouzo. This microemulsion formation, due to the competing interactions within the oil-alcohol-water system, has been termed the ouzo effect. Previous work has examined the ternary oil-alcohol-water phase diagram in ouzo and limoncello. Additional work has also characterized the droplet size and stability of microemulsions in ouzo, limoncello, and pastis. However, less work has been done to examine the effect of temperature on louche formation despite the fact that the louche is traditionally formed by adding ice cold water. This work demonstrates that both the maximum turbidity and the fraction of alcohol at maximum turbidity are temperature-dependent. The louche formation can be fit with a logistic curve, and the resulting fit parameters are linear with temperature. Optical images show that the increased turbidity correlates with an increase in the number of droplets in the microemulsion.
Bickel, Jessica E.; Ellis, Anna; and Resnick, Andrew, "Examining the Temperature Dependence of Louche Formation in Absinthe" (2021). Physics Faculty Publications. 432.
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