Gin ~ A Stirring Miscellany


Welcome. This is the 3rd year final project of Digital Media student Francesca Sargent. Hopping on the Gin trend, I will be journeying the lengthy, vast abyss of Gin and Gin related things, but mostly focusing on where Gin sits in society today – almost exclusively through a tour of flavour pairings in cocktails and other delectables.

Why is this important? It depends on who you are & where you are.  On a personal level, I love food (& drink, in moderation) and see the world through its flavours, and I feel that what we consume says a lot about our society and attitudes, past and present.  Why is Gin so huge at the moment? I don’t know why just yet. I’m focusing on Gin for this project as it is absolutely my favourite beverage with complexities of body and therefore hundreds of exciting ways to drink it.  Its botanical notes makes it an earthy and light choice, but hell, mix it with fiery ginger beer and it might blow your brains (whilst being delicious of course).

Is this an excuse to drink endlessly? No. I’m not very good at drinking in excess and will be adventuring through many sourced experiences as well as my own.

Where can this project go? The title suggests infograph(-y-infamy), and I will very much be working in the direction of graphical data gathering, analysis and interpretation in development.  However, in production, i’ll be implementing interactive wizardry to communicate findings.  I don’t want this to be a completely personal, prescriptive investigation, so there will be an element of citizen science and collaboration through the means of collecting data and classifying ingredients and flavours. All of this resulting in a celebration of the spirit, and hopefully some interesting findings.

And the technical details? Recently I have been planning and working on the underlying (& essential) basis for the app, using the Yummly API along with Python to collate a basic SQLite database of ~500 gin cocktail recipes.  Each record contains information about the quantities of ingredients and cocktail flavours.  This will be running on the Flask framework, which will be fantastic for expansion later on, in terms of user authentication (the collaborative part), additions to the database and routing urls RESTful style. I’m hoping to really expand on my Python knowledge and create a web app that works to the industry standard in production, with clean, efficient source code.  I’m hoping the final form of this project will reveal itself through research and design/tests.  Firstly, to render the data, I would like to use SVGs, animations (CSS3, Javascript (further parenthesis.. three.js as an example), WebGL) with a physics engine (such as liquidfun) to visualise the recorded recipes. Ideally, a printable version would also be rendered alongside this, so a lot of thought will need to be put into the output.