Designer Cocktails Call for Designer Ice

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2009 4:52 PM CDT
Bartenders prepare cocktails at Absolut Icebar for a reception in Shanghai, China.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Innovation in cocktails has spread to their simplest component, the Globe and Mail reports—ice. “Ice is the equivalent to a stove for a chef,” says one bartender whose watering hole boasts three kinds of frozen water. Another Canadian bar produces seven varieties for different drinks. Mixologists use crushed ice, for instance, for refreshing drinks that need dilution, and denser, larger cubes for spirits like Scotch.

Some add to the ice, encasing fruits and flowers in the cube. And good ice requires good equipment, like a machine called the Kold-Draft. “For a long time people ignored ice,” a restaurant owner says. “But as mixology and bar culture get more sophisticated, people are starting to pay attention to every minute detail that goes into a cocktail. And we've found you can really make a big difference with ice.”

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