Some favorite images captured in Tulum while attending my friend and fellow photographer Daniel’s wedding.
Its been snowing again on the east coast, so you know what that means! Another cocktail post. This time its not a recipe but a test of sorts, a comparison (totally scientific of course). For those of you familiar with my previous cocktail posts you will recall that I prefer one large ice cube in my old fashioned’s (or any drink served with a rock). This is for one main reason, slower melt time. With many small ice cubes they melt much faster, quickly adding a lot of unwanted water to your drink. One large cube slowly adds some dilution with over going over board. Since last year I have been using large square ice cubes (pictured below)
They work great! Very easy to use and to clean. But more recently I came across some spherical ice molds made by the good folks at Arctic Chill. Having reviewed their muddler before I thought I would give their ice spheres a try.
After receiving them, I cleaned them and filled them with water. They are made from a soft material, thick material and are filled via a small hole at the top. Super easy! Once ready to use it simply separates (made easier by the natural expansion that occurs when water freezes) and you just plop into your drink of choice.
Of course, not being one to just use something for the novelty of it, I decided to place these spheres into competition against my good old square cubes. So I invited my friend John over and made us some old fashioned’s. The goal here was to see which ice cube melts faster and to enjoy some great conversation! So I made one cocktail with the square cube and another with the sphere.
To be honest, I had my money pegged on the square cube lasting longer, but after about 15 mins it was really clear that my cocktail had much more water content and the ice cube was markedly smaller! It seems at least from our observation that the spherical cubes are the way to go for a nice slow melt! What was unclear to us was the temperature, after a few sips we decided we could measure this, but had some trouble locating my thermometer. All we knew was that eventually we were warmer than the drinks, and thats all that matters.
I noticed one other benefit to the sphere’s. When making this particular cocktail, sometimes you have some left over sugar when pouring the drink in. Typically this lands on top the square ice cube and you have to sweep it off the top to get it in the liquid. The sphere’s are nice because they just roll, gently mixing any grains of sugar back into the mix. To purchase a set of your own check them out on amazon!
Just before Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of working with Disney Channel star Olivia Holt for my very first cover with Girls Life! We had a blast working at Smudge studio in Hollywood. She was really on point and amazing to work with. Made my job a breeze. Also it was great to get a taste of summer during the usual cool Baltimore autumns that I’m used to. Many thanks to the whole team for coming together to pull this off.
As many of you know I have a fascination with cocktails and sometimes devote a post to them. Well we’ve had a few snow days here in Baltimore and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend them then making my favorite cocktail. The good folks at Arctic Chill sent my way a stainless steel muddler, the perfect companion to any bar! So I thought I’d whip it out and use it to make my favorite cocktail, The Old Fashioned.
Before I get to the cocktail, a few notes on the muddler. I have previously been used to my old wooden muddler. This was useful, got the job done, but I found that it retained flavors and easily stained. Not ideal for making the perfect cocktail. I don’t want anything that can transfer flavors other than what I choose to have in the drink. This muddler is stainless steal with a grooved nylon head, perfect, no unwanted flavors! And, to my surprise much lighter than what I was expecting, but not light enough as to feel cheap. Its well made and I loved it. Onto the cocktail….
First step is to gather all the ingredients. Here is what you will need:
-Bourbon (I use Knob Creek, my favorite)
-1-2 teaspoons raw sugar
-Arctic Chill Muddler
-cocktail shaker and strainer
My recipe differs a bit from the traditional Old Fashioned in that I start in my cocktail shaker rather than build the drink directly in the serving glass. I think there is more control this way.
-add your raw sugar to the shaker with 3-4 dashes of bitters and a very tiny bit of water (just enough to wet the sugar).
-with your Arctic Chill muddler begin muddling the sugar and bitters until you get a syrup devoid of large grains of sugar*
-add 2 shots of Knob Creek Bourbon and stir to lightly mix with a bar spoon
-add ice to fill and stir until sides of shaker are frosted and cold. Aside from making the cocktail cold this dilutes the bourbon a bit.
- place one large ice cube into a tumbler and strain your cocktail into the glass
-Take your orange and with a small knife cut off a large chunk of the zest. Be sure to trim any remaining pith as this is quite bitter. Gently squeeze (skin side down) over your cocktail. By doing this you are expelling the essential oils. After you’ve done this once or twice (depending on how fresh your orange is) rub the skin around the rim of the glass. You want to be able to really taste those oils. Add the zest to the glass
-Served best with friends
*some like to add orange zest to this step and muddle. I find that this works well but is less impressive than seeing those oils expel. Also I think that the oils can be tasted more if you wait. They are in nearly every sip.