The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Thirty Eight
It’s probably the most overlooked cocktail ingredient, even though it could be more than 20% of your drink: this week it’s all about ice!
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In today’s Episode…
It’s all about ice! We don’t normally talk about Ice as a cocktail ingredient but maybe we should. As it chills your drink, the ice can add 20-30% volume to the cocktail. So it’s definitely not something to overlook!
Using Stuff that Comes Out of Your Fridge: Cubes and Crushed
For folks at home, feel free to use the ice that your fridge makes automatically. Just make sure that you don’t have anything too fragrant in your fridge. Ice can retain aromas and make your drink taste “off.”
If you’re looking to make square ice (or other shapes) , Tevolo makes some great ice molds in all shapes. They are easy to use and we’ve had good results with them. You can also have some fun with your ice, using wacky ice molds… a couple we mentioned are below.
Hand Crushing Ice
Some bartenders swear by hand-crushing their ice. Typically, this is done using a Lewis Bag and Mallet. According to Chris, this method keeps the ice drier than, say, just pulling crushed ice out of your fridge. If any crushed ice experts are out there, we’d love to get your thoughts! Is hand-crushed ice better… and why?
There are two main ways to make clear ice at home: Directional Freezing, and just freezing very, very slowly. Camper English is arguably the internet’s expert on clear ice, so check out his blog for more information. For another approach, check out the Weird Science of Ice and How to Make “Premium Ice” at Home. Brian Johnson from Better Cocktails at home also has a video on how to make clear ice.
Bars with Great Ice Programs:
There are bars out there that take their ice programs to a whole new level. From breaking down 300lb blocks of ice with picks and chainsaws to ordering custom ice from glaciers in Finland*, here are a couple of bars that are worth looking up. (*I completely made that up – does anyone really do that?)
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Now you see, even the most overlooked ingredient can make a difference! Got tips for why people hand-crushed ice? Pictures of ice creations from your past? Let us know in the comments!