Ballantine's Space Glass
Space travel and whiskey? This seems likely to end in catastrophe
Casting aside for a moment the inherent dangers of piloting while sozzled, it's quite an engineering feat. In microgravity liquids behave very strangely, yet this partly 3D-printed glass succeeds at container-to-mouth transmission of liquid, even allowing you to take in the whisky's (probably) peaty aromas.
Its development is a response to the recent firing of several whisky samples up to the ISS, for 'science'. But it's been made by Scottish booze brand Ballantine's, whose own whisky was not among those chosen, so it also seems to be a flagrant waste of Earthly time and resources. But we won't hold that against it.
Obvious question - won't my whisky end up all over the Enterprise's console? Might be the final straw for Scotty, that
Nope. At the centre of the Space Glass is a domed reservoir with a spiral convex baseplate. The pattern creates surface tension on the blob of whisky thereby holding it at the bottom of the glass. At this point, we really want to use the phrase 'viscous meniscus', though it's certainly nothing to do with the physics involved.
And from there to my expectant tastebuds, how?
The outer portion of the glass contains a helix channel connected to a mouthpiece at the rim. The whisky flows up this channel from the baseplate, ready to be supped gently. Of course, this is all after the drama of decanting from the bottle, a process that's secured with the use of a special one-way valve. Without the assistance of gravity, some gentle bottle spinning is involved to encourage the whisky to make its way inside the glass.
Sounds lovely, but my complimentary Virgin Galactic tickets are yet to arrive. Is it Earth-friendly?
Yes, in that it will effectively allow you to drink fluid on Earth. But no, in that it's a surprisingly unweildy piece of kit. The base and mouthpiece are constructed from unreactive rose gold, so that the whisky's taste is unaffected, and at the very bottom of the glass there is a hefty magnet that assists in docking the nozzle of a whiskey bottle. In space it's as light as a feather; on Earth, it's a baby elephant.
In other words I'm probably never going to use one
Nope. But in the meantime, pour yourself a drink in a conventional glass and marvel at the simplicity of terrestrial liquid management.