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Shaken, Not Stirred
Brandeis’ Don Katz turned the tables on the world of mixology at the annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic festival in May. Blending up a seminar on the science of taste, the neuroscientist said taste is intricately intertwined with smell, with each influencing the other. Shown conducting “class” behind the bar, he described how evolution, genetics and complex network processing in the brain combine to make some drinks seem delicious and others — well, stinky. Participants fully embraced one of Katz’ teachings: The right drinking companions and environment, he told them, can actually improve the flavor of a frothy concoction.