The Lovejoy Comet (Cock)Tail – a festive recipe

Improbable’s Call for Papers on “The nutritional value of comets” Mini-Annals of Improbable Research, Issue Number 1994-02, June, 1994, is still open. For inspiration with your submissions, what better time is there to prepare a Lovejoy Comet (Cock)Tail? Here is the recipe – inspired by chemical components that are all readily available on Comet Lovejoy – but using easily available (and considerably safer) earthly substitutes.

• Ethyl Alcohol C2H5OH (use Vodka instead – two shots)
• Glycolaldehyde CH2OHCHO (the simplest ‘sugar’ – use cane sugar instead – to taste)
• Methyl formate HCOOCH3 (with its ‘ethereal’ lemony odor – use lemon juice instead – to taste)
• Ice H2O solid-phase (as required, but don’t overdo it)
Note: The (cock)tail should ideally be served in a greenish-blue glass for optimal effects – in tribute to the comet’s spectacular colours (see photo).

REFERENCE: ‘Ethyl alcohol and sugar in comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)’ Nicolas Biver, Dominique Bockelée-Morvan, Raphaël Moreno, Jacques Crovisier, Pierre Colom, Dariusz C. Lis, Aage Sandqvist, Jérémie Boissier, Didier Despois, Stefanie N. Milam, in Science Advances 23 Oct 2015: Vol. 1, no. 9.

p.s. Two Lovejoys are not enough – three are too many.