Your Favourite Alcoholic Drinks Put Under a Microscope

Champagne closeup


While you may easily think these are abstract works by some modern artist, they are not. What these images are, are in fact farthest from that. These are pictures of, believe it or not, alcoholic drinks as seen under the scrutinizing eye of a microscope. Scientist Michael Davidson came across these visuals and wanted to share the delightful images he saw under a microscope and partnered with BevShots to realize this. Bevshots produced this series of booze shots (pardon the pun) at the Florida State University’s chemistry labs.

Bloody Mary Closeup

Bloody Mary

What you are actually looking at, for instance, is Dry Martini, but at 1000x magnification. Or perhaps a glass of Vodka. While some spirits do not have as many impurities in them as cocktails such as a pina colada, when they break down into their various components, they may not dry out properly. This translates to having to photograph a pure substance like vodka up to 200 times until one gets it captured properly.

Margarita closeup


The chemical components found in each drink can greatly affect the various hues and shapes one may see under a microscope. For instance, drinks like white wine are filled with vibrant colors, while spirits like Scotch can monotonously dull. To create these images, each drink was first crystallized on a glass slide and then shot with the use of a high end polarized light microscope.

vodka closeup


The process entails letting a droplet of liquor or some other alcoholic drink dry out totally on a slide while in an airtight container. The dried result is then photographed with a 35mm camera. The whole procedure can take up to 3 months and very many attempts before properly capturing each respective drink’s constituent parts. As one can see, each drink looks different.

Sake closeup


So the next time you have a beer, cocktails liquors or a nice glass of wine, think of these pictures as you raise your glass. You would actually be drinking a complex kaleidoscope of beautiful arrangements, shapes, colors, hues and tones, very much like a rainbow.

Mint Julep closeup

Mint Julep

Pina Colada closeup

Pina Colada

See most of the collection here.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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