Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sensory Word of the Week

Last week's Sensory Word of the Week post on iridescent, pearlescent, and opalescent was the first in a mini-series of escent-ended words to be featured on the blog. While iridescent is a highly descriptive word that pertains to visual appearances, this week's word is one that engages sensations that are both seen AND felt.

According to, effervescent is a descriptive word that means "giving off bubbles" or "fizzy." While effervescent typically describes liquids, there is also a second meaning of the word that describes personalities: "vivacious and enthusiastic." cites that the word comes from the roots fervere, a verb that means "to boil" and escent, which means "beginning, becoming, tending to be."

Some liquids that are effervescent may be boiling, but in many cases, fizzy liquids may give off bubbles due to carbonation, not boiling. Carbonated beverages are among my favorite things! Drinking flavored sparkling water feels like miniature fruit fairies are dancing around and setting off the teensiest of fireworks inside my mouth, and I love it.

This summer I discovered a new favorite effervescent beverage. Heirloom Bottling Co. is a local St. Louis company that makes cocktail syrups and shrubs from whole fruits and pure vinegars—check out @heirloombottling on Instagram for some great videos of the production process. A shrub is a concentrated syrup made with fruit, vinegar, and sugar, and sometimes spices or herbs are also incorporated. You can use a small amount of the shrub to mix a drink. I like to keep it simple (and bubbly) and use this shrub with sparkling water. When you pour a carbonated beverage over the shrub, the vinegar has an especially effervescent effect.

On a hot summer day, enjoying a bubbly and tart shrub drink with some fresh fruit is the best; it's simple and refreshing. Heirloom Bottling's shrubs and syrup come in blackberry lemon mint, blueberry sage, lime peppercorn, and grapefruit ginger vanilla. Heirloom Bottling Co. sells their shrubs at farmers markets throughout the city and  also at some local shops, including one of my favorite Maplewood spots, Larder & Cupboard.  

I'm always curious about nature—where can we witness natural effervescence? Lava bubbling up from volcanoes is considered effervescent. Calcite and carbonate minerals have an effervescent reaction when exposed to acid ( You'll also find frothy bubbly water at gushing waterfalls and natural pools or blowholes at high tide. I once climbed down a rocky beach cliff in Maui to see a small blowhole (picture above), and the effervescence was hypnotizing.

What effervescent things do you enjoy? Are there other descriptive escent words you would like to see featured as a Sensory Word of the Week? Feel free to send a picture, and I'll share it on Instagram!

No comments:

Post a Comment