Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Yard of cocktail

Like having your mind smashed out with a slice of lemon
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The yard of ale is the most flamboyant way of drinking beer, ale (or perhaps lager if you're Australian). Essentially a large (and very long) glass is used to hold the drink before it is quaffed.

Cocktails _start off_ flamboyant, and the most extreme are perhaps in the pousse-café style, which have several colourful layers. It goes without saying that more layers are better. I must confess to some experimentation in this regard; the limit on layers is partly down to density (ingredients with a higher specific density go at the bottom) and partly down to the thickness of the layers in the glass. The most I have managed is 6 layers in a drink I've named the 'Zoom', after a banded ice-lolly.

Obviously, these two concepts are a match made in heaven. A special glass is required, rather lower in volume than the several litres of the yard-of-ale glass, as cocktail ingredients are rather higher in potency. So the vessel must be as thin as possible, while still fillable and pourable. Given that the depth of the drink is much greater so layers can be thicker, and pouring down the side of the glass aids layering, many more layers should be achievable.

It occurs to me that there are several ways of improving banding potential. Density of the densest ingredients can be increased by cooling, and conversely, the lightest ingredients may be warmed. An alternative may be to prepare the cocktails a specific time in advance, then centrifuge.

Remove cocktail umbrella before drinking.

Loris, Dec 04 2008

examples http://www.badideatheater.com/pousse.html
[Loris, Dec 04 2008]

//membrane boundaries between the liquid layers// Irish_20Coffee_20Holder
a bit like this, then? [pertinax, Dec 07 2008]

[link]






       Like a big test tube? Bun for pretty-ness though!
penguin_tummy, Dec 04 2008
  

       //An alternative may be to prepare the cocktails a specific time in advance, then centrifuge.//   

       Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. [+]
shapu, Dec 04 2008
  

       You haven't been to Vegas, have you?
wagster, Dec 04 2008
  

       // rather lower in volume than the several litres of the yard-of-ale glass //   

       Errrrrr, why ? Truly, this has the potential to be a genuine Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster; Douglas ("we-are-not-worthy") Adams would be proud (and probably very pissed).   

       [+]
8th of 7, Dec 04 2008
  

       Excellent. Incidentally, there are plenty of neutral-tasting substances that can be used to increase the density of liquids. Maybe add Ficoll to increase density?   

       Also, a centrifuge won't help: it won't seperate liquids if they are already truly mixed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 04 2008
  

       Maybe, the vessel could be made out of thread connectable sections to aid layer construction .The drink name would have to be something to with cores .   

       aside: When heated, the layers will mix, right ? You can't have six seperate blobby volumes in a lava lamp ?
wjt, Dec 05 2008
  

       Lava-lamp cocktail. Brilliant.
wagster, Dec 05 2008
  

       //Also, a centrifuge won't help: it won't seperate liquids if they are already truly mixed.//   

       I wasn't proposing to mix the drinks first, but to add them as carefully as possible, with the centrifugation to aid layer formation. This should work; you can break down emulsions by centrifugation. So I believe that rough, blebby interfaces between miscible liquids should be leveled. Of course you can't do it for too long as diffusion will mix the layers over time.
Incidentally, at very high speeds you _can_ assort molecules of different densities - I've done this myself. But that doesn't help us - at the limit you'd probably end up with an alcohol/sugar etc gradient, with the various dyes (and flavourings) forming thin bands.
  

       Another strategy - freeze the ingredients, and add them as chunks. Pure alcohol freezes at -114 degrees C, but according to a website I found:
24 proof liquor freezes at -6.7°C
64 proof liquor freezes at -23.33°C
84 proof liquor freezes at -34.44°C
All of which are well within the range of expensive, low-temperature freezers.
You'd want to warm it up fairly carefully.
Loris, Dec 05 2008
  

       What about convection at phase boundaries during melting ?   

       A better design might be to have a vertical tube with inlet valves positioned at small fixed intervals. The lowest portion of the tube is filled first, up to the second valve, which is then opened to admit a different liquid.   

       An alternative could be to lower a capilliary tube with an L-shaped end to the bottom of the container. Liquid 1 is pumped in, and as the level rises so the tube is slowly withdrawn upwards by a servoc controlled micormanipulator. The liquids are fed to the pump in sequence by a solenoid valve array.   

       Small discs of sugar glass or rice paper could be used to provide membrane boundaries between the liquid layers.
8th of 7, Dec 05 2008
  

       hate to bust your bubble but strong alcohol solutions do not freeze in a uniform fashion. This is why ice distillation works so well.
WcW, Dec 06 2008
  

       Aha, then use 'clock-reaction' ice layers. (I remember at school the teacher impressing us pupils in class with a party-piece demo of a chemical 'clock-reaction'. No idea how it worked, some chemistry thing, but it was impressive).
Ian Tindale, Dec 06 2008
  

       //hate to bust your bubble but strong alcohol solutions do not freeze in a uniform fashion. This is why ice distillation works so well.//   

       If you freeze it fast enough it'll be okay.
The drinks could be layered at the manufacturer, then shipped and stored frozen.
Admittedly, air-bubbles might be an issue. I suppose these could be minimised by preparing frozen cylinders.
Loris, Dec 06 2008
  

       even so, they don't melt uniformally either. As your column-o-booze melted it would pass through a phase of etho-slush. I guess i just don't understand the plan.
WcW, Dec 06 2008
  

       Basically it doesn't really matter how it's done - it's the result - clean layers - which is important.   

       I also like 8th's suggestion of a slowly retracting tube dispenser. I don't think it would have to be as narrow as a capillary, either. If there's too much mixing, just have an array of larger tubes, like a multicolour biro.   

       I have a device for making layered cocktails which is a little floating... thingie. you just pour the drink on and it effectively spreads out the pressure of the stream, breaking its fall. IIRC it works quite well, although I doubt it would over a height of a meter.
Loris, Dec 06 2008
  

       I think you are going to need to use temperature, solutes, alcoholic strength and polarity to build more than eight layers. I have seen stacks of ten layers built as part of a contest back in high school. definitely not drinkable, (but those needed to survive being inverted). Dry ice was involved.
WcW, Dec 07 2008
  

       Damn you, [up on cloud nine]! I was going to say that.
dbmag9, Dec 07 2008
  

       Inspired ! I know a guy who did a yard of Guiness and Raspberry. Thought was a good effort.   

       What about a pippette ( ? pipelle - long time since I did chemistry ) for developing the layers. Would seem to have all the right attributes in terms of being long and thin enough to get into the yard/half yard or what have you.
Hairy Sock, Dec 10 2008
  

       Wags, while the yard of cocktail may be baked in Vegas, there weren't any convincing links in the first few pages when I googled "yard cocktail" - without quotes. I also tried with google images and again nothing convincing. I did find a link to a half-yard cocktail, but nothing to indicate that it was layered.   

       There were lots of hits about drinking cocktails in the yard, or in a bar with yard in the name, and some which appear to be pub webpage menus indicating that they serve both yard-of-ale and cocktails. Also, a carpet seller with a design "Vigilance Cocktail" (at 47.53 dollars per yard).   

       Damn it, why are Los Vegans so shy and retiring about their inventions? They are such a modest folk.
Loris, Dec 12 2008
  

       They are modest indeed, traipsing daintily down the strip with their yard of marguerita.   

       That is the only place I've seen them (though every second tourist has one) and I don't think they're that close to real margueritas at all. I just got a real, normal marguerita instead.
wagster, Dec 12 2008
  
      
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