Who knew that ice in cocktails played such a crucial role in their taste? But now that we know better, let us know some more about the types of ice there is.
Besides spirits and juices, what other thing is important to make the perfect cocktail? Did somebody say ice? Ice, it is. Ice in cocktails is what differentiates an excellent cocktail from an okay-ish one. Infact, just like cocktail myths, ice shapes and sizes too have several legends attached to them waiting to be debunked.
The type and the timing of the ice have to fit the needs to make a balanced cocktail. The presence of ice blends the ingredients and makes the most balanced mixture. However, ice melts and dilutes a cocktail, which is encouraged in certain cocktails while discouraged in others. The dilution rate matters highly in cocktails. When the ice is small and less dense, the cocktail becomes watery faster, weakening the cocktail.
Along with the size, the surface area of the ice plays a good role. Moreover, a properly shaped ice has the power to heal a drink, whereas a one with no shape can spoil the drink. There are, in fact, a variety of types of ice.
Types of Ice in cocktails
Single big cube:
Cocktails like Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Negronis are best served with single big cubes to control the dilution. This kind of cube helps you enjoy your drink slowly, giving each sip a uniform taste for over 20 minutes. This large cube helps keep the glass chilled for longer and sometimes is even used for shaking to add some texture to the drinks.
Gin, tonic, and vodka are suited with regular cubed ice to accentuate carbonation.
Mai-tai jungle birds prefer high dilution to balance the cocktail, which is easier and delicious with crushed ice. Crushed ice in cocktails adds much texture to the drink, making it uber-refreshing. This type of ice is pretty much used in frappes and cold coffees.
Like large cubes, ice balls melt slowly, even more slowly than the former. The difference is that pebble ice is easy to stir and gives an aesthetically pleasing look.
Standard 1×1 inch cube:
The standardized ice cube can be used in any drink without a specialized ice requirement. Moreover, any kind of ice cube is better when you want to enjoy drinks on the rocks, as cubes do not melt easily due to their vast surface area. So, go for this ice in cocktails if you’re going to chill for a longer period without losing the flavor. While pouring the cocktail into a glass, make sure you find the balance. If you see the ice floating in the drink, it indicates more water and less ice.
Very slow to melt like other ice cubes, this type of ice has an interesting feature. It will go only with a tall glass. Why? Because this ice is shaped like a long, thick block, thereby suitable for drinks served in highballs.
Creating a smoky effect, this type of ice is best suited for parties. However, you have to be a little careful while handling dry ice, for it has a temperature of -78.5C, so it is better to have protection to avoid burns. It keeps your drink cool and flavor intact. The dry ice in cocktails sinks to the bottom and will melt by the time you finish your drink. Thus, while planning a party, get dry ice a few hours before the party, as it lasts for only 24 hours.
Any ice type:
Drinks like Martinis are very convenient in this case as they go with any kind of ice, regardless of shape and size.
Did you even think that ice could have such a variety? From now on, every time you open your freezer, get a good look at the size and shape of the ice. And now that you know, make sure to pass it on.