It wont come as a surprise to those of you who know me or follow this blog that I am a bit of a cocktail enthusiast. A little over a year ago some friends and I began re-exploring the possibility of creating an extensive guide to classic cocktails. This territory is not unfamiliar to us as we had a small booklet a few years ago. Our initial venture was heavily inspired by vintage recipe books, particularly the old photographs. They have a very particular style owing to the lighting available at the time and the method of printing. Our book, still in its early stages has taken a much different route but as part of that first exploration I took some photographs of some of my favorite cocktails in the style of one of those old recipe books. You have: The Negroni, Martini, Old Fashioned, Gin Fizz and The Manhattan
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!
Be sure to get your copy of our new book DRINK today! We are having a Cyber Monday sale and at $4.52 its a steal! This small but elegant digest makes a wonderful companion to a bottle of bourbon or gin for a classy holiday gift! Also, it is a great way to support future editions and the work of young artists! So get on it, Drink and be Merry!!!
Last night I had the pleasure of sharing some of my work at the monthly Libation Lounge Cocktail Party held by the good folks of Post Prohibition . The evening started at a slow pace with a meal and a nice cocktail. Friends began trickling in for drinks and the music began to pick up. As you can see by the end of the evening most were on the dance floor. All in all it was a success. It was my first one night show ever, and the new piece was a favorite.