Its a hot summer day here. I want my beverages to be cold. And with all the foodies, food blogs and real chefs, gourmets, mixologist and recipe hounds, its surprising how many still overlook the importance of ice. Its almost 50% of the contents of your drink and I wonder why people still use cloudy ice made from tap water? I don’t care how good your drinking water is, with fracking in well water, bigger cities with chlorine, occasional (yearly) sewage running into the sewers, it surprising people don’t use more pure water. It does not have to be fancy like Evian or Fiji (pictured above) but if you are going to pour $5 of ingredients into a drink, why would you not pay a few cents for something that could ruin the taste of your top-shelf liquor over something that can ruin it? That ice that comes out of the freezer from your tap water? Really? Well, for years I bought ice cubes from the supermarket or wine shop, the problem is they are usually half melted by time you get them home in the summer heat and you have to smash them once frozen again to break them apart and you wind up with ice of all different sizes. So, instead of an ice cube tray I discovered this: https://jrcx.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/favenewtoy – I’ve since bought the sequels which also make triangle ice, large square ice cubes and large “rock” shaped ice cubes. The most versatile and useful is the triangle mold because you can make 4 triangle cubes at a time, and you can make them as thick or thin as you like. Remove the plastic spacer which separates them into triangles and you can make one large square ice cube. The molds are pictured below and taken from www.polaricetray.com – $19 is not bad considering a bag you buy from the store will cost you $2/week week and is not nearly as good.
So, now the fun part. Making your own ice! I found I can buy lemons, limes, anything and make ice cubes with it so it does not dilute your drink on a hot summer day like today. So, if you are drinking a margarita, gimlet, whiskey sour, caiparinha, or whatever, you can use these. Better yet, if you are making mojitos, you can buy this all natural spearmint water and make it with half the lime juice. I don’t mind my drinks being diluted as long as they are cold, but its a great idea. If you are not a drinker, they make killer fresh iced tea with the Lemon-Mint from Metro Mint.
So, next time you have a cocktail party or friend(s) over for drinks, tell them their cocktail has been made with ice from the other side of the world, like Fiji for example, Or Italy if you are serving a Negroni, or whatever is your favorite imported water. Please do not make it with Aquafina. This is basically purified water, NOT spring water, huge difference, purified water is processed and is basically tap water that has been purified, the other waters are natural from the source.
For reference, here is an idea of how my personal ice cube looks, its triangular and 2-3 fit the glass perfectly. You see the US Penny & Dollar for scale on a 6″ diameter plate.
Its the perfect size, but it does depend on if you fill the tray/mold half way or to the top. Obviously the half filled trays will give you smaller cubes, and filling it to the top will give you large cubes. It depends on your usage and how cold you want your beverage to be. I would use the larger cubes for cooling drinks straight up over ice such as whiskey, bourbon, scotch or any other spirit to be savored alone, but smaller ones for mixed drinks.
Here is one you can mix/shake with, discard the shaking ice and pour over this wonderful invention… the Glacier Ice Ball. Its amazing. I love it. Its cheap, 2 for $20, it fills the glass and keeps the beverage cool for at least an hour without watering it down. You can find it at http://www.glacierball.com – you can also fine from caskers.com – its ingenious!
Remember, ice is at least 65% of your drink, so why use lousy tap water? Why not use something unique for your guests and brag that its water from a spring in Italy, Fiji, France or elsewhere? Its the truth, they don’t have to know that its spring water from your local supermarket frozen in a special mold, although, that is still good enough to reveal… Enjoy!