Cocktails are classically defined as a beverage derived from a combination of distilled alcohol, such as vodka or whiskey, with a mixer. The mixer can be a very broad spectrum of fruit juices, sodas, liqueurs, vegetable juices, and just about everything else under the sun.
We have found these cocktails to be one of the most difficult subjects for photomicrography (photography with a microscope) that we have ever encountered. In our system, we must crystallize or orient the sample so that polarized light will be refracted as it passes through--giving us the beautiful patterns that we typically see with this type of microscopy. Unfortunately getting pure tequila (or its counterparts) to crystallize has proven to be extremely difficult. Without divulging all of our tricks, we have found methods (such as cooling with liquid nitrogen) that can be used to force crystallization on the most stubborn specimens. This gallery represents a significant part of our efforts in this arena.
The Cocktail links below lead to progressive JPEG images of the beverages that range in size from a minimum of 45 kilobytes up to about 125 kilobytes.