How To Up Your Ice Game

How To Up Your Ice Game

Ice cubes are sometimes disregarded by beginning mixologists, but they may make or ruin a drink just as much as the other components can. Having drink-appropriate ice will give your beverages a visual flair, however, the half-moon ice cubes that most refrigerators produce will work just fine. The four forms of ice that every professional bartender and home bar should be familiar with are as follows:

1×1 cubes


Most bars utilize ice cubes of this form, which is the industry standard. The surface area of the cubes isn't so low to leave your cocktails lukewarm and tepid, but it's also not too low that they'll melt and dilute your drink too quickly. They are also excellent for cocktails that require shaking or stirring. This should be the only kind of ice you select to have in your bar.

Large cubes/ spheres


This is the kind of elegant ice you would find in an old-fashioned. For minimal dilution in spirit-forward, neat drinks that you sip slowly, such as the Negroni and Manhattan, you use a single cube measuring 2 1/2 inches. Avoid shaking and stirring with these, though, as the large chunks won't melt quickly enough to produce what you want. Ice spheres function similarly but look nicer and provide an even slower dilution because of their smaller surface area.

Collins Spears


Collins Spears are rectangular ice cubes that measure 1.5 inches in length and are used for Collins and Highball glasses. These kinds of ice perform well in long sippers, giving even dilution for the long-shaped cups. They are mostly employed to provide flair to the beverage. This sort of ice, meanwhile, loses out on its functional side because the majority of such drinks contain carbonation, which might flatten the beverage. The higher amount also results in more dilution, and if the drink is kept too long in a mixer, it can drown out the spirit. However, the form of the ice can provide a striking appearance when used in the correct cocktail, such as a Mojito, Tom Collins, or Gin and Tonic.

Crushed/pebble ice


Crushed or pebble ice, a favorite for summer drinks, is used to quickly chill your beverages. Crushed ice is the preferred alternative because pebble ice needs specialized equipment. The crushed variety, which is used in beverages like Mint Juleps, Moscow Mules, and Frozen Daiquiris, gives the concoctions a slushie-like texture. If you don't want a drink that is watery, never use this kind of ice for shaking and stirring. To make crushed ice, use the crushed ice setting on your refrigerator, pound ordinary ice by hand, or pulse it in a blender.

Even while the majority of these can be manufactured using molds, if you want to step it up, you can make clear ice in the aforementioned shapes. All you need are some time, a freezer, filtered water, and coolers. Put filtered water in a cooler and place it in the freezer without a lid. The top-down freezing of the water is made possible by the three insulated sides, and this directed cooling pushes the water bubbles that are trapped to one side. Simply chip away the foggy end and cut the remaining clear ice block into the proper size cubes once the last portions are semi-frozen. Another approach is to place your ice and set your freezer to the lowest temperature. Boiling the water twice is a third technique. Even if they're not ideal, they produce ice that is cleaner, clearer, and less cloudy.

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