HFCS (NOT!) Fun

You’d think I’d have learned by now, especially after that Agave Controversy post, not to post about Science stuff.

A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

Working at a University, I’ve met a lot of scientists who say things like, “Calories are Calories, if you’re fat, you’re just eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise.”

Personally, I’ve always thought that a pretty simplistic way of looking at things as complicated as diet, culture, and metabolism.

Interestingly, it appears that some Scientists are seeing further evidence from animal based experiments that High Fructose Corn Syrup, even in water solutions with similar calorie contents to those with sucrose sugar solution, may be far more likely to cause obesity and other fat related illnesses.

And again, I’ll point out that while Agave Nectar is nowhere near as ubiquitous as HFCS in the American diet, it shares many chemical characteristics with that substance.  Some brands of Agave Nectar may actually contain more fructose than High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Triomphe Cocktail

Triomphe Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz 1-1 Simple Syrup

Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

At work, we often get asked for vodka cocktails. We have a few in the bar book, and quite a few of the gin cocktails can be made to work well enough with vodka.  But I still try to struggle to think up new and interesting vodka cocktails that customers enjoy.  I’ve gotten good response to this one.

The Triomphe is a variation on the Savoy Cocktail, Champs Elysees, made with vodka instead of Brandy.  And to be honest, I kind of prefer it to the original Brandy version.  It turns out less busy, and is a better feature for the Yellow Chartreuse.  Not entirely happy with the name, but the Arc de Triomphe is on the Champs Elysees in Paris, so that’s why I gave it that name.  It’s also something of a personal “Triumph” for me, whenever I think of a vodka cocktail I actually like.

Of course, smart aleck servers like to point out that another way of looking at the “Triomphe” is as a slightly herbal Lemon Drop.