The Reason You Shouldn't Drink A Layered Cocktail Through A Straw

A colorful layered cocktail next to leaves and orange slices
A colorful layered cocktail next to leaves and orange slices - Ekaterina Markelova/Shutterstock

Ah, the layered cocktail. A vibrant masterpiece in a glass, each hue promising a unique flavor waiting to be explored. These drinks are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate. But before you grab that straw and dive in, hold on! There's a reason bartenders care about crafting these beauties -- and a straw might just be the villain that destroys their delicious symphony. While it may seem convenient or instinctual to sip through a straw, it can compromise the carefully crafted layers and ultimately diminish the drinking experience.

Layered cocktails are meticulously crafted based on each liquid's specific density to achieve distinct layers, each with a unique flavor. When you use a straw, you disrupt these levels by drawing liquid from the bottom of the glass, mixing them, and blurring the vibrant colors and flavors. Furthermore, much of our perception of flavor comes from our sense of smell. By sipping a layered cocktail through a straw, you miss out on the aromatic experience of inhaling the nuanced scents of each layer.

Consider a Rusty Sunset, the grenadine pooling at the bottom, with orange juice in the middle, and a fiery top layer of rum. A straw ruins this artistry, turning your drink into a murky mess. Bartenders put thought into the order of ingredients, with each layer meant to be enjoyed in sequence. A straw disregards this intention, potentially delivering a flavor bomb you weren't prepared for.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Straws Vs Layers

A bottle pouring syrup on top of a spoon in a layered cocktail
A bottle pouring syrup on top of a spoon in a layered cocktail - Maximfesenko/Getty Images

Not all layered cocktails are created equal, and sometimes a straw might be the right choice (even if, scientifically, your drink will taste different through a straw). If you're all about the mixed flavors and don't mind bypassing the visual spectacle, then by all means, grab that straw. Sipping a Tequila Sunrise through a straw might be helpful for gently mixing the tequila, orange juice, and grenadine.

Or, imagine a tropical paradise with a Piña Colada, the creamy coconut cream gently floating on the pineapple juice, blended carefully with rum. Be sure to sip slowly to try and get a taste of every layer. Meanwhile, some layered cocktails, like the B-52, are meant to be a quick, fiery experience. In this case, a straw might be the intended way to enjoy the layered explosion of flavors.

So, next time you're presented with a layered cocktail, raise your glass (without a straw) and appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating these cocktails. Understand that it's best to imbibe the drinks slowly, without the interference of a straw. Enjoy the different flavors with small sips, allowing each layer to tantalize your taste buds. After all, a layered cocktail is an experience to be savored, not just sucked down.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.