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When you hear the word “ultrasound,” you probably think of a pregnant couple getting a sneak peek at their baby. (Spoiler alert: They’re weird looking.)

But scientists in Spain had a different — and, let’s just say it, better — idea for how to use ultrasounds. They’re utilizing the high-frequency sound waves to age brandy much, much faster.

Let’s get semi-scientific here for a second (SCIENCE!), with the help of Discover Magazine:

Ultrasound can help extract chemicals from plant tissues. Ultrasound waves cause tissues to rupture, releasing bioactive compounds tired within cells at a higher rate.

Now back to the booze: To make brandy, you start with wine. You distill it (a story for another day). You put it in oak barrels. Then you wait. Over the course of years, or even decades, the wood of the barrel gives the brandy its taste, scent and color.

But Spanish scientists ain’t got time for that.

“Hey, ultrasound waves cause plant tissues to break down faster,” they thought. “Let’s use ‘em to get the wood flavor into the brandy faster. And then, we’ll drink it.”

The details, from Discover,

The scientists flowed distilled wine through American oak chips. As the wine seeped past the wooden chips, the researchers blasted it with ultrasound waves. The researchers found that after only three days of ultrasound treatment, they produced spirits that were similar to brandies aged for years.

They even had trained brandy judges sample their science-y spirit, and they deemed it “nearly as good as traditional brandies.” Next up, they’re going to try it on wine.

We salute you, booze scientists. You are truly using your powers for good.


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