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THIRSTY THURSDAYS: The Importance of Ice

November 11, 2010

If there is one ingredient that is most often overlooked in cocktails, it’s the ICE. Ice is something that is never considered a main ingredient and as a result, people forget about it when making their cocktails.

In fact, the difference between an okay cocktail and a great cocktail is that every component of the drink is carefully prepared and helps to elevate all the other ingredients.

Let’s use an example. If you go to a club, you often get a cocktail with a glass full of ice. You never get cubes,  you get “crushed ice”. Because crushed ice has a very small surface area, it melts easily, meaning your refreshing beverage gets more watered down than anything else. At a great cocktail lounge, you’ll get big pieces of ice, and because of their large surface area, they melt slowly, meaning you actually get to enjoy the drink – not a watered down version of it.

So where can you get good ice? You could make it yourself – distill some water through a filter and pour it in ice cubes. (Some good cocktail spots I know filter their water three times before freezing!). You could have a fancy ice machine in your fridge. And, you can pick some up at Sonic – yeah, the fast food drive in restaurant! I actually never knew how Sonic had such good ice, but when I went to the Corsair Artisan tasting, a couple of the guys were saying how they just go to Sonic, ask for ice, and go home. I haven’t done it yet, but I’ll take their word for it. Either way, get good ice.

Now some of you may be thinking, “oh, I don’t need ice – I just put the bottle in the freezer!” I’ll admit, I used to do this too – in college. It was the best way to get that $9 handle of Taaka drinkable. But you would be very, very wrong. Freezing your booze is a bad move because it is so much colder than the ice cubes, that the ice won’t melt. As a result, you’ll have a harsher tasting drink than if it was left at room temperature. You want the ice to melt slowly. In the case that you freeze the bottle, it won’t happen. Keep the booze at room temperature.

Once you have good ice, the possibilities are endless – shaken, stirred, or on the rocks. Great ice makes a great cocktail. Now, go out there and make some good ones this weekend!

Cheers,

Vivek

 

Photo Credit: http://www.iglooice.co.uk/

 

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 9:52 AM

    Have you seen my blog post about the ice trays I bought my husband last year? He loves them! If you don’t have any, you should get some.

    http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2009/05/goodness-gracious-great-balls-of-ice.html
    and
    http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2009/12/the-cook-the-baker-and-the-drink-maker.html

    • November 11, 2010 10:17 AM

      Those are awesome! I always wondered how TPH made those balls. Thanks for the link, Beth!

  2. rania permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:49 AM

    This couldn’t be more true. I know some people that don’t put enough or no ice at all, and we have one heck of a time trying to take shots especially….

  3. November 12, 2010 9:14 AM

    Sonic and ice? Really? Well, their slushy drink are certainly a guilty HFCS filled pleasure. I believe that water and ice can make a difference. NYers claim NY water makes the pizza crust, not the flour.

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