Taste the Center of the Galaxy with this Craft Cocktail

It turns out the center of the Milky Way galaxy doesn’t taste like milk or smell like chocolate, caramel, or nougat. But it does smell and taste very familiar.

Scientists recently discovered the mysterious center of the galaxy we humans call home actually has the taste and aroma of one large alcoholic beverage. I hope you like rum.

Like so many of us do.

Like so many of us do.

Astronomers recently turned Europe’s IRAM radio telescope on to a giant molecular cloud of dust toward the core of the Milky Way known as Sagittarius B2. The cloud is just 390 light years away from the bright center of our galaxy. What they found in the center of the galaxy is a chemical known on earth as ethyl formate.

Those guys know how to slam some drinks.

Those guys know how to slam some drinks.

Ethyl formate occurs naturally on Earth, usually in the bodies of ants and bees, but can be synthesized by scientists. This chemical compound is what gives fruits and wine their sweet scents, but the universe isn’t a glass of wine, it’s a rum cocktail. Ethyl formate is comprised of alcohol, a relatively common occurrence in the universe, especially in star-forming gas clouds. The formic acid re-radiates radiation from stars and that re-radiation is visible to radio telescopes. That’s how European researchers were able to detect the ethyl formate.

What makes the ethyl formate core of our galaxy a rum cocktail is that the chemical compound is known on Earth to smell like rum and taste like raspberries. The ethanol in the chemical gives it the distinctive odor while the formic acid is what would give the galaxy its fruity flavor.

Booze League’s official Mixologist Sarah Thomas crafted her own take on this astronomical fun fact. Meet the Red Nebula Cocktail, a tasty concoction of rum, raspberries, lemon and glitter!


  • 2 ounces Ron Zacapa rum 

  • 1 ounce house made raspberry simple

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce creole shrub 

  • Few dashes of Australian company barrel spice bitters 


  1. Add all ingredients in glass with ice and stir 

  2. Double strain into large chilled coupe

  3. Garnish with fresh raspberry with lemon 

  4. Spray with edible shimmer powder