Sip Scotch in space with Ballantine’s new Zero Gravity Whisky Glass

If there’s one drink you just can’t enjoy out of a vacuum-sealed sippy pouch with a straw, it’s whisky. Let’s face it — nothing strips the intrigue and finesse out of a venerable liquor like plastic and tubing, which is how astronauts today must consume most of their beverages.

But here to restore some dignity to this most dignified drink is Scottish distillery Ballantine’s, which has finally resolved astronauts’ pressing need for a zero gravity glass, allowing the denizens of the International Space Station to have a righteous night cap sans straw.

“When they go on a bit of an adventure, [whisky is] the thing people want to take with them.”

Clearly a forward-thinking company, Ballantine’s is anticipating the need for such a glass as the space tourism industry takes off over the next few decades. And given that the habits of the rich and famous, who will make up the first wave of space tourists, often include fine wines and liquors out of finer crystal and stemware, Ballantine’s is borrowing against future capital and meeting the demand they are sure will soon come.

Speaking with the New York Times, Peter Moore, the brand director for Ballantine’s, noted, “When they go on a bit of an adventure, [whisky is] the thing people want to take with them. This is about getting ourselves ready.”

And boy, are they ever ready. The glass is a piece of art in and of itself. A rose-gold-plated stainless steel convex base forms the foundation of the revolutionary vessel, with the surface tension maintained by its spiral design ensuring that the whisky will actually stay put and not float off in an amorphous blob. Beyond that, there’s a helix winding its way up the glass that contains a small channel, which uses capillary action to coax the whisky to yet another gold component — a mouthpiece — where the drinker takes a sip.

James Parr, who developed the glass for Ballantine’s, told GizMag, “We are using inertia and the notion that the whisky will stay at rest while the bottle and the glass is moved around the resting liquid. Motion one pulls the whisky into the base of the glass, then motion two is to roll the whisky in your hand and let the heat transfer through the metal base into the liquid itself. Step three involves then moving the glass down prior to moving your nose into the space where the vapors are resting. The final motion is to move the glass upwards to capture the liquid in the base plate and let it enter your mouth.”

Who knew drinking could be so complicated?

Ultimately, Parr noted, the goal was to recreate the experience of drinking whisky here on Earth, only in a zero gravity situation as one would have in space. Even the whisky itself had to be rethought a bit to ensure an analogous scenario.

“In space, you do not experience the sense of smell and taste with the same intensity as you do on Earth,” explained Sandy Hyslop, Ballantine’s Master Blender. “This meant I had to make the Ballantine’s Space Whisky more heightened in flavor and robust whilst maintaining the Ballantine’s signature style. Astronauts miss the taste of home so crafting a fruitier, stronger, more floral blend is a way they can keep the taste of home with them.”

While it may be a while yet before this whisky and whisky glass are put into action, it’s good to know that we’re well prepared for our space travels. After all, what better way to enjoy the view from way up there than with a good glass of whisky?

Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Movies & TV

The best movies you’ll find on Hulu right now (February 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.
Emerging Tech

Baristas beware, Bbox cafe uses robots to brew your morning coffee

Want your morning coffee and pastry prepared by robot? Bbox, a new coffee shop in downtown Berkeley, California, lets customers place their order by app and then uses automation to take care of the rest.
Emerging Tech

This ridiculous new flamethrower makes Elon Musk’s look like a cigarette lighter

The XL18 Flamethrower is a flame-shooting beast on steroids, capable of firing off bursts of flame more than 110 feet in length. The best part? You can order it over the internet today.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX just nailed its most challenging Falcon 9 rocket landing to date

If you've been following the SpaceX launch calendar, you know this week marks the first launch from Cape Canaveral in two months. We have the details on where you can watch the launch live.
Emerging Tech

Touchdown! Japan successfully lands its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's space agency has just completed the latest stage of its extraordinarily complex mission, successfully landing its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on an asteroid millions of miles from Earth.
Emerging Tech

Delivery drones: NASA to test advanced traffic control system for cities

Delivery drone services are edging closer as NASA prepares to demonstrate its advanced drone traffic management system, which it claims offers safe and effective control of autonomous aircraft in urban areas.
Emerging Tech

Kickstarter campaign aims to help make 3D-printed space habitats for Mars

Mars X-House is an ambitious project that's intended to create a prototype future Mars habitat using 3D printing. And, thanks to a new Kickstarter campaign, you can be a part of it.