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It’s a common refrain among whiskey enthusiasts: Add a few drops of water to a glass to open up the flavors and aroma of the drink.

For example, hard-liquor expert Alice Lascelles said in a demonstration for The Sunday Times that “if you’re tasting with a master blender, they will always add some water at some stage.”

But the science behind this claim has been murky. A couple of chemists in Sweden set out to figure out why adding a little water would improve the drink’s taste.

They say the taste improvement happens because alcohol molecules and those that determine whiskey’s taste tend to stick together. Their findings were published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Chemists Say You Should Add A Little Water To Your Whiskey. Here’s Why

Photo: Andy Buchanan /AFP/Getty Images