Popsicles, Flavored Ice, and More: The Modern Cocktail
Mixologists follow the trend of using unique ices in drinks.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 31st, 2012
ntil recently, the only attention paid to ice in the realm of cocktails was whether someone wanted it in there or not, and what shape/size to use if they did. Spherical ice cubes became popular, but even that isn't edgy enough anymore, as bartenders turn to flavored ices, shaped ice, popsicles, and even smoked ice (yes, that's a thing) to create artisanal cocktails.
In some bars, giant blocks of ice are carved away at to create large chunks of ice for drinks, some ice is formed into tall cylinders for highball glasses, but the general idea to take note of is that aside from the spirits, bitters, and mixers used in your drink, ice is something to pay attention to.
Some bartenders even use smoked ice, which is made my melting a block of ice in a smoker, then refreezing the smoked water.
Other bars have started freezing ice infused with herbs and spices, like hot pepper. Used in drinks, as the ice melts, it adds another flavor element to the cocktail. As you linger on your drink, sipping slowly, it takes on different flavor profiles. Some bars use different substances besides water to ice their drinks, like coconut water or juice.
But perhaps the most unique icing idea we've heard of is smoked ice. It's not nearly as revolutionary as it may sound, but the process is definitely somewhat uncommon. To make smoked ice, bartenders place blocks of ice in smokers and place a receptacle to catch the melting ice. A few hours later, they're left with a container full of smoke-infused water, which is then refrozen into ice.
As bartenders strive to avoid drink-making boredom, and as foodies, drink connoisseurs, or even people who just enjoy a well-crafted cocktail every now and then become more interested in new ingredients and methods, new drink ideas will pop up all over the place.