Researchers at the Nuclear Energy Center at the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil announced at the beginning of 2013 their finding that the national drink, cachaca, can be matured more rapidly if it is zapped with gamma radiation.
Cachaca is a spirit similar to rum which contains almost 50% alcohol. Tests have shown that irradiated cachaca carries no risk and can be consumed immediately. A researcher explained that the gamma rays ionise the cachaca and this speeds up chemical reactions that take place naturally during the ageing process.
This is expensive to do on an industrial scale as a radiation machine costs over £2m so irradiated cachaca has only so far been drunk in university labs.