Atomic Brandy

1971: Soviet scientists claimed to have invented a method of making brandy in 10-15 days, as opposed to the 2-3 years it usually takes. Specifically, their method involved infusing grape juice with "oak shavings irradiated with 200 rads," and in this way rapidly transforming the juice into brandy.

San Rafael Daily Independent Journal - Sep 14, 1971

Some googling reveals that food scientists have continued to experiment with using ionizing radiation to speed up the aging process for alcoholic beverages. For instance, here's a 1999 article about Brazilian scientists using radiation to speed up the aging of cachaca.

Would the resulting brandy or cachaca be radioactive? Apparently no more so than any alcoholic drink.

Consider this Snopes article: Does U.S. Law Require Alcohol to Be Radioactive?

The answer is that, no, the law doesn't require alcohol to be radioactive, but any alcohol made from plants is going to be slightly radioactive because the plants have been exposed to cosmic rays. As opposed to synthetic alcohol made from petroleum, which will be far less radioactive. So, one way to determine if alcohol came from plants or petroleum is to measure how radioactive it is. Most people, I assume, would prefer the more radioactive stuff.
     Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 11, 2022
     Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants | Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters

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