The art of mixology meets science when the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) presents the Science of Cocktails on Jan. 31. If you’re at least 21, you won’t want to miss this unique evening of drinks, food, and fun.

“This is our fourth annual Science of Cocktails event,” said Heather Segale, education and outreach director for TERC. “Our goal is to make it very ‘science forward.’ Attendees can learn something new while having fun.”

Nosh on a sumptuous selection of appetizers and desserts as you navigate through a series of fun and interactive stations highlighting scientific concepts such as cloud formation, density, dissolving into solution, fermentation, fire, osmosis, plant phenolics, tincture and bitters-making, whiskey tasting, and vaporization. Local gin, beer, and wine experts will be on hand to discuss some of the ways science plays into spirits distillation, fermentation, and biochemistry.


You’ll find flaming cocktails provided by the Pioneer Cocktail Club, specialty whiskey drinks from Incline Spirits, and vaporized cocktails with atmospheric scientists. Each station will have activities and demonstrations highlighting relevant concepts in science as well as current UC Davis TERC research.

Local vendors will be providing food, drinks, and science education throughout the night. Support for this year’s event comes from Alibi Ale Works, Desert Research Institute, DJ Coach Kyle Railton, Down To Earth Composting, Incline Spirits, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Old Trestle Distillery, Peace Out Design, The Pioneer Cocktail Club, Robert Craig Winery, Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Nevada College, Tahoe Blue Vodka, Tahoe Waterman, and Tahoe Water Suppliers Association. Appetizers will be provided by Sodexo catering services and dessert will be provided by Susie Scoops Ice Cream.

“The Science of Cocktails is one of our favorite events to host,” Segale said. “It’s an opportunity to bring science concepts to the public, and we get to do it in a fun and engaging way that makes for a memorable experience.”

Tickets are $35 and include drink tasting, two drinks, heavy appetizers, dessert, and interactive stations. Any remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the door for $45; however, the Science of Cocktails has sold out prior to the event night for the past four years, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

INFO: 6 to 9 p.m., (775) 881-7566,

Main Image Caption: CLOUDY SPIRITS: Guests can look forward to an evening of fun and interactive stations, such as this “vapor-tini” station, at the fourth annual Science of Cocktails. Courtesy photo


  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana

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