Ever since that first classic cocktail passed my lips (an Aviation, if you gotta know), I’ve been enamored with cocktail alchemy. Though my home attempts are more miss than hit, it’s still a mental exercise in taste and skill. After more than a few botched tipples, all I can say is blessed be the bartenders, for nightly slinging balanced, flavorful booze.
It’s not all tinctures and booze in Candy Land, though. In the August issue of Wine Enthusiast, I dove into one of the most important ingredients in the cocktail biz: ice. I got a deep assist in the expert department from bar gurus Sother Teague (Amor y Amargo, NYC) and Charles Joly (The Aviary, Chicago). With their insight, I covered the major variations, from crushed to spherical, and even a cool ice pick to rock at your home bar. The piece is a geeked-out primer on the cold stuff; give it a read, if you’re so inclined.
Illustrations by Patrick Morgan
I can’t mention ice and cocktails without a bow and a hat-tip to noted ice master Camper English. His posts on the importance of ice and how to create diamond-clear cubes at home are legendary, and make for a fascinating read.