We have been talking about how to stock your home bar, on and off, for the past couple months. With summer around the corner and icy beverages on all of our minds, it only seemed appropriate to talk ice.
We have been in Las Vegas a couple times this month for work. When we get some precious down time, we head to the hotel bar for a drink or two. Not sure about you but I hate paying premium prices for a drink that has been watered down with crappy ice. Come on …..
Last winter we had drinks at a bar back east and the ice in our drinks was so sexy. Yes, you read that right, sexy ice cubes. I just had to ask the bartender, how he did it. After a few jokes about how he hand picked them from a brick of ice, he came clean and told us, that they froze filtered water in big cube trays. The drink that evening was a heavily influenced rye drink, and that huge cube of ice melted perfectly with the drink. By the time I was finished sipping it (45 minutes later, yes, I timed it), there was still a small cube left. As well it was clean tasting, did not interfere with the flavor of alcohol, and there were no “floaties” in the glass. We came home and immediately changed our ice making habits. We purchased king-sized ice trays and started using filtered water. Next time you make ice for your cocktails, go the extra step, filter the water; it will make a huge difference when you are sipping something special over ice.
What about cocktails made with mixers? Then our friend, Megan, went to her neighborhood bar recently and learned a new trick. As soon as I read about it, I wondered why we had never thought about it. Freezing your tonics, club sodas, ginger beers, etc… I know you are wondering the same thing, why didn’t you think of that. Well, we have been playing with this idea and it is genius. You will not want to fill the ice tray to the top. Leave a bit of a lip. The fizzy mixers expand during the freezing process and can end up running over a bit. I did up the amount of alcohol to keep the cocktail … well, interesting. This ice tip works so well, and your drinks will stay flavorful until the last sip.
You still have time to impress your weekend guests, run out buy some extra mixers and freeze away. Then make them a classic summer time cocktail, such as the gin and tonic.
Other sexy ice suggestions:
Whiskey Stones – fun way to enjoy a nice scotch
Large Sphere Ice Cubes – instead of jumbo squares
Recipe: Gin and Tonic
*makes one cocktail
- 3 ounces of gin
- 4 ounces of tonic
- 1 big tonic ice cube or a few smaller tonic cubes (go to Chez Us to learn how to make cubes)
- lime, cut into wedges
- Put the ice cubes into a cocktail glass.
- Add the gin.
- Top off with the tonic.
- Squeeze some lime into the glass, swirl with a spoon or your finger.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
* we like extra lime and add two wedges, that were squeezed into the glass first