Welcome to the new ice age.
Cocktail lovers have turned their attention to an ice cube, a trend set by the bartenders who called the most crucial ingredient of all.
Ice now has different shapes from rocks to spheres, shards to icebergs to the classic ice cubes. Indeed, there is a vast array of shapes to choose from nowadays, each perfect for chilling drinks or diluting them to enhance the experience.
Drinks expert Helen McGinn reveals the newest trends this summer to keep the drinks cool. Some top mixologists even choose mineral waters for the ice. The ice must be kept in the freezer before serving them because letting them sweat in a bucket will only dilute the cocktail very quickly.
Edges and Curves
The classic shape of ice usually comes in cubes, the one made by trays in most freezers. These cubes are ideal for throwing into shaker when making a Martini or any other cocktails.
In making highball cocktails, or those made in tall glasses, one ought to fill it with at least four or five cubes, rather than adding them after filling the glass. Keeping the drink colder means the cubes will not melt, and it will stay stronger for a longer time. It is an important technique when it comes to making cocktails.
Meanwhile, those ice that is nearly as big as golf balls tends to be bigger than a cube and with a smooth curved shape. Scientifically speaking, those with less surface area, like the spherical ice, melts more slowly, which makes the drinks stay colder for longer.
These spherical ice are great for drinks in tumblers like Negronis to keep them deliciously strong and look fabulous. They can be bought in supermarkets or made at home as molds for spherical ice have become widely available.
Moreover, spherical ice is perfect for throwing into a G&T, especially when served in a balloon-shaped Copa glass.
Crushed and Rock Ice
On the other hand, crushed ice is essential for cocktails on hot days like the mojitos, mint juleps, or wine-based slushies. Crushed ice would also be great for a frozen rosé.
To make these, an ice cube blast in a blender would be perfect, but some people may prefer preparing it classically. Just put the ice cubes in a freezer bag, wrap it in a towel and whack it with a rolling pin until the ice shatters. This way, there will be lesser ice that will be diluted than putting them in a blender.
Furthermore, messy ice cubes or also called as ice rocks melt more slowly than small ice cubes. They are also the perfect size to throw into a shaker as they are not too big. Rock ice is mostly put in short, sharp cocktail drinks like an Old Fashioned whiskey.
Iceberg and Chic Shards
For pre-mixed cocktails, summer cups, or punches, the best ice type would be the huge ones. They can be popped easily in one of those tumblers when drinking or sipping gins, rum or bourbon.
In making icebergs, simply fill a small tub or container with water then freeze it. Break it into big chunks afterward using a tea towel, freezer bag, and a rolling pin; or by splitting it with a knife.
Moreover, the perfect ice shape for a Tom Collins- like gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda- would be the chic shards. Rather than throwing four or five ice cubes, a single long ice shard will surely do the trick and will not melt as quickly.
Meanwhile, Shivi Ramoutar, chef, and author of The Ice Kitchen suggests to add flavor to ice instead of making the usual flavorless ones.