The Complete Cocktail Ice Guide – Until I attended a recent press event in London, I was unaware of the importance of choosing the correct ice to complement your drink.
Having been informed of this valuable information, I felt it only fair to share it with our Women Talking readers.
To my joy, the Ice experts, The Ice Co have teamed up with Global Mixologist, Channel 4 Sunday Brunch presenter and World of Zing’s founder, Pritesh Mody, allowing me to witness the cocktail expert in action, sharing his top tips on choosing the right ice to keep your drinks cool this summer.
Established in 1860, The Ice Co is Europe’s leading ice manufacturer. The business produces its own ice from its UK factories and supplies retail, wholesale, food service, events, and food manufacturing, both in the UK and abroad.
The Ice Co’s key product lines include Party Ice, Crushed Ice, Premium Ice, and Super Cubes – the super-sized slow-melting ice cubes, made from spring water.
Cocktail Making Tips from Mixologist Pritesh Mody:
Ice is so important when making cocktails. While it might be easy to think its sole purpose is to chill a drink, it has other functions, too.
You can make the tastiest cocktail with the best ingredients and follow the recipe exactly, but with insufficient ice, you’ll probably find it doesn’t taste as good as it should. The quality of drinks depends on the quality and quantity of ice.
One huge ice myth is that diluting your drink is bad. When a cocktail is shaken or stirred with ice, the ice then breaks down and adds water to the cocktail – this softens the flavour of both the alcohol and sharp fruit flavours, which smoothens the overall taste of the drink. So, when choosing the right kind of ice for your next cocktail, the following are recommended:
Extra-large ice cubes come into a world of their own when you’re serving a strong drink that you want to be on ice so that it stays chilled, but you don’t want further dilution after stirring. Lowball classics like Old Fashioned and Negroni are great served with Super Cubes, and so is any spirit on the rocks.
Standard and large ice cubes
Suitable for any occasion, smaller, standard ice is perfect for chilling glasses, and cooling bottles and ideal for all kinds of drinks. Cocktails are no exception!
Standard ice cubes are perfect for tall cocktails like a Tom Collins and shaking (Cosmopolitan or Pornstar Martini recipes are great for this variety of ice) – creating the ideal level of aeration without diluting a drink. Slightly larger cubes are a good option for long drinks.
If you only have small ice cubes, use more of them but stir or shake for less time. But whatever you do, don’t fill your glass full of tiny ice cubes that will melt in seconds, because you’ll end up diluting a drink too fast.
For drinks with a slushie vibe, crushed ice is a necessity. What’s more, there’s no adequate substitute for crushed ice, so it’s good to have a bag on standby. For cocktails with a frosty feel, like a Mojito or Woo Woo, crushed is perfect. If you don’t have any to hand, you can make your own by placing ice in a tea towel and crushing until you get small, irregular-sized pieces that are around the size of a pea. But beware, crush too much and you’ll end up with a melty mess!
Save time and chill your glasses
At a busy party, the quick turnover of glasses can mean the dishwasher is constantly on the go. This can lead to warm glasses, which can ruin a cocktail within seconds. Before you serve a cocktail, make chilling glasses easy by filling them with ice cubes before preparing a drink.
So now you know the basics, here are a few cocktails to try at home:
Pink Pineapple Passion
A blissful tropical treat for a warm summer evening.