The strange thing about MSG—albeit, not the strangest thing—is the price.
Imagine my surprise when I found a 12-ounce bag of monosodium-glutamate for $1.49 at tiny grocery store in Manhattan's Chinatown. You've probably heard a ton of bad press about this mysterious amino acid: it causes nightmares, gives you the shakes, causes headaches, cancer, shrinks your testicles, etc. All possibly true, sure, but here are some indisputable MSG facts: it's used to enhance the flavor of food and bring out the natural savory "umami" flavor.
There's a stigma attached, but the FDA has concluded that MSG is safe when "eaten at customary levels." So that's that. For the sake of amateur science and sheer curiosity, I decided to mix some MSG into a variety of different drinks: light beer, wine, hard cider, IPA, the whole kit and caboodle. Wanna see what happened? Of course you do. So, with the help of Supercompressor's social media editor, Molly McGlew, we tasted seven different MSG-laced alcoholic drinks and took notes. Here are those notes.