As everyone that has ever ordered a Jägerbomb at one in the morning can tell you, you drink enough of those things and the consequences can be explosive. However, thanks to this fun little video, we now know that if you just add a little alkali metal into the mixture you can really get a drink that blows up in your face.
This comes to us from the YouTube channel Periodic Videos, and stars a man straight out of central casting, Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff (that name, that hair, that voice! I love this man!). The professor, having recently discovered the practice of dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Red Bull (“To me, both of them smell worse than medicine, and I can’t understand why anybody should want to drink it”), bought some so that he and his fellow experimenters could see what happens when you add a little sodium or potassium to the drink to make it a slightly more literal Jägerbomb.
(For the record, I have had way too many Jägerbombs in my life, but almost all of them have involved dropping a shot of Jägermeister into a glass of Guinness. Combining Red Bull and liquor makes my heart shake sideways.)
They added the metals to the bottom of the shot glass, which the professor was told might cause it to then come shooting out (pun intended!) like a rocket. The sodium was a “bit of a flop.” It fizzled, caught fire, and after that burned out there was just a tiny little pop. It was more like a Jägerbomb mixed with a Flaming
The potassium was way more fun. The first time it instantly exploded, destroying the beaker. The second wasn’t quite as riveting, it was even less of a reaction than the sodium. The difference probably had to do with the angle at which the shot glass was dropped in. Potassium has a low melting point, so if it is close to the surface the shock wave caused by the reaction will take the easier path above through the air, instead of against the glass.
The last attempt though didn’t have that problem, and once again the beaker was swiftly destroyed by the instantaneous reaction.
This might be a fun experiment involving some liquor and whatever is in an energy drink, but this was not all that different from adding an alkali metal to plain water. Professor Poliakoff didn’t think the sugar or the ethanol would make any difference, and since “alkali metals react with ethanol very much more slowly than they do with water,” the Jägermeister’s presence might have even slowed down the reaction. (Then again, Red Bull might be made with gasoline, so who the hell knows.)
So what did we learn? Well one, don’t order a Jägerbomb with an extra splash of alkali metal. Two, probably don’t order a Jägerbomb period. And finally, Professor Poliakoff has always been the freaking best.
Images: Periodic Videos/YouTube