Baby, is it cold outside where you are? It has been a little chilly in Texas this week, and as we look at the weather map, that is true about much of the country. In fact, ice is even in the forecast for the Dallas/Fort Worth area tomorrow. In honor of the cold weather, we are going to talk with you about ice.
You might think, “Ice? What is there to talk to about with ice?” Well, my friends, in the world of beverages, believe it or not, ice is a HOT trend. We shared some information with you about ice back in August when we commemorated the eclipse. This week we will look at ice and how it can change the taste and the look of your beverage.
It’s got the look. One reason that ice has become a hot trend in the cocktail world is that the size and shape of your ice portrays a certain image or attitude for a cocktail. It is an easy way to garnish your beverage and instantly amp up the appeal.
Using a sphere of ice is a big trend in many restaurants and upscale bars. We showed you in August how you can join in on this trend by purchasing some less expensive sphere molds, such as the Neptune Ice Ball tray or going high-end and purchasing one from Sharper Image or Williams Sonoma!
Another trend is to use large cubes. We have a mold that is similar to the one that you can purchase at Target. We’ve also seen similar molds at World Market and Home Goods.
The large cubes not only give your drink a clean and sophisticated look, they also have a practical purpose. By containing less surface area, the larger cubes melt much more slowly. Thus keeping your drink cool without watering down the taste. The larger cubes are typically used with classic cocktails like a boulevardier or if you want to drink a spirit neet. No one likes the taste of a watered down cocktail, right?
Crushed ice is great for beverages that you want to keep really cold. Rhonda is a sucker for Sonic drinks, and all of the credit definitely goes to the ice. The combination of the crushed Sonic ice with the styrofoam cup keeps the drink at a deliciously cold temperature. The same is true for margaritas, pina coladas, and other summery, beachy drinks. The crushed ice is the perfect garnish and temperature to keep those slushy drinks cool, calm, and collected. Here’s a great tip: Purchase bags of Sonic ice from time to time when entertaining to give your frozen drinks a little something special.
Want to add a little garnish and keep your drink stylishly cool? Add mint leaves, rosemary, or even berries to your ice cube tray as you fill it up. This look works well if you are serving a clear spirit, lemonade or sparkling water.
Want your ice cubes to be clear? Add boiling water to your mold. The boiling temperature rids the water of gases that can cause that cloudy look. Either way the ice is still cold has has the same taste– just a different look.
Regular freezer ice does have its place. Freezer ice is great for adding to a shaker to cool down a concoction and works just as well as any other ice.
Whether you are serving lemonade or a Manhattan, the ice you choose can make a difference in the appearance and taste of your drink. The next time you entertain, don’t forget to think about the ice. What kind of mood you want to portray with your signature cocktail? If you try out one of our tips, we would love to hear about it.
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