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Louche effect

Term (French louche = opaque, disreputable, suspicious) for the milky flavour of an aniseed spirit when water is added or very strongly chilled. These include the branded spirits absinthe, pastis and Pernod (France), aguardiente and pacharán (Spain), aquavit (Scandinavia), arrack (East Indies), ouzo and tsipouro (Greece), as well as raki (Turkey). However, the phenomenon is often referred to as the "ouzo effect" after the Greek liquor.

Louche-Effekt - drei Ouzo-Gläser

The aniseed content of these drinks can be compared using the louche effect. This is because the cloudier the liquid becomes at a certain mixing ratio, the more aniseed the spirit contains. The addition of water opalises the clear liquid. The milky cloudiness is formed by an oil-in-water emulsion that causes light scattering. This effect is caused by the poor water solubility of the essential oil anethole contained in absinthe.

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Markus J. Eser

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Markus J. Eser
Weinakademiker und Herausgeber „Der Weinkalender“

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