Plenty of ice for sure! Cocktail greatness requires the right temperature and the right balance of ice and the other ingredients as your cocktail enjoys your company over the life of that drink. It turns out ice melts.
Yeah, yeah, you say. I got it. Lots of ice. But wait! I’ve learned that which kind of ice matters. It matters a lot. And when it comes to ice, I’m a square.
When I took my first cocktail making for lay peeps class (more on that soon), the awesome bartender/teacher pointed out that he uses square ice cubes from some fancy, super expensive machine. And we mixed up some great drinks that night thanks in part to that exquisite ice. The cubes worked perfectly shaken or stirred, they got things cold without over-diluting the cocktail, and they held their righteous ice integrity much longer than other ice with which I’d worked. So I was jonsing.
And then came the great news: said square ice is available, affordable, and easy for home use. Hallelujah! The brand I use is Tovolo. These cute and colorful ice cube trays are silicone, durable, and come in smaller size and jumbo size. (They are even dishwasher happy.)
I use the small ones above for mixing drinks. I use more small ones for summery, refreshing drinks like the Cherry Lime Rickey using Leopold Bros’ Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur and the Original Collins using Bols Genever. The king size (to the right) is my go to cube for the more wintry, boozy drinks I adore, such as an Old Fashioned or the mind-blowing Laphroaig Project which I first experienced at San Francisco’s Rickhouse.
I recommend the Tovolo cube without hesitation. I got a few trays at San Francisco’s Cask, the best purveyor of spirits I’ve found. You’ll see them in other stores and they are available online, too.
Try these beauties out. Come back and tell us how you like them. Cheers!