6/25/09

ice

[by john]

i was reminded last night of just how essential ice is as a cocktail ingredient.

in order to properly warm a cliquot-loving friend's new apartment, i brought a flask of pre-measured gin and st. germain and a bottle of prosecco to make elderfashion royales. the only thing i didn't bring - and hadn't thought i needed - was ice. like habit, i put the glassware in the freezer and started looking around for the clear stuff...but alas! after some playful admonishing, i went ahead with the drink, swirling it in a frozen pint glass and then topping the chilled flute with prosecco.

ah, but there's the rub. a drink is not stirred, shaken, or built with ice for the bracing chill alone; dilution is - i would argue - the most important side effect. you don't want to poison your guests, after all.

so, i ended up trying two versions of the cocktail - one straight up, and one with 1/4 oz of water to simulate a little bit of dilution. and there was definitely a difference...the 'watered down' one was indeed rounder.

the cocktails turned out nicely (as st. germain and bubbly usually do), and made the night's conversations all the more pleasant.

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now, i've been trying to restrain myself from becoming an ice snob, as bartenders are wont to do. i don't boil my water beforehand, or purify it, or do two stages of freezing...but i will admit to buying some tovolo trays, which give very solid one inch cubes. they've got a lot more shaking power than chipped ice, and they look sexy in a collins glass.

however, i think this might take it too far: physicists have discovered a new kind of ice, dubbed ice xv. it is formed only at high pressures and is a little strange, being antiferroelectric. i don't know how it would change a drink, but it'd be impossible to find out anyway. i guess those scientists will have to celebrate their achievement with some champagne chilled in regular ol' ice ih.

as a final ice news note, check out this slideshow of different kinds of solid water and then tell me people aren't obsessed with this all too common, all too weird substance.

2 comments:

  1. I prefer my drinks chilled with ice-nine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. next time i will drink wine...

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts?