Testing cocktail recipes is always a fun change for us, switching our brains from thinking about food to thinking about drinks. When I read a recipe for a bright red aperol-based cocktail that was supposed to have a layer of white absinthe on top, I was skeptical because absinthe is clear; why wouldn't it just blend into the aperol? The recipe called for stirring the absinthe with ice before pouring it on top of the cocktail; lo and behold, the clear liquor turned milky white. I was amazed and intrigued, so I did some research. Turns out that anise, one of the ingredients in absinthe, contains an essential oil that dissolves clear in alcohol, but not in water. As you stir it with ice, water dissolves into the liquor, causing it to become cloudy. This process of adding water to a liquor containing anise (absinthe, pernod, and ouzo) is called louching, and is commonly done to help develop the spirit's aromas.