George Restrepo
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Imagen Ice, important in the mixology world

Ice, important in the mixology world

George Restrepo

When choosing the ingredients for a good cocktail we have a lot of options among bases, liquors, juices, fruits and condiments. The alternatives are many and the combination possibilities endless. Let’s imagine we have in our hands the perfect cocktail recipe. But when we are preparing it for our guests, suddenly we feel something is missing; or even worse, one of the variables that we didn’t take into account, made the mixture not so good. Would you think of the ice cubes? Among the cocktail modern trends, thinking at all levels and having in mind up to the minor detail is a must. In this case, the ice is seen as the last link of an accurate mixologist elaboration.

We can find in the market different ice brands or distributors. And we always can create it ourselves. The ices like Scotsman and Vogt are the most well known ices. The most used for cocktails would be the Scotsman of 48 or 42 mm height with 35 and 55 gr. weight respectively. Another ice would be the crushed ice and the frozen one, which is the result of mixing crushed ice or ice cubes with ingredients into a blender. In general, the quality of the ice is determined by its consistency which has to be solid. Its crystalline color would talk about purity and regarding the size, the bigger the better because it would last longer.

The objective of the ice is (through the cold temperature and volume) to help mixing the ingredients, to dilute the molasses, sugar, juices, and to create an homogeneous mixture. In some cases, it helps creating the foam and creaminess when using cream liquors, cream, juices and egg. Cold feeling decreases alcohol taste and makes a more balanced drink.

Ice should be used just once to cool the mixture and in the case the drink has ice on it, this should be new. To cool the drink we will use a third ice and if it’s possible, to have the glass cooled so the cocktail will last in better shape and longer.

A good ice would be always a great ally in the cocktail world. But if we want to be a perfect ally, we can influence to make it as one more ingredient in our mixture. If we can be part of its creation, we could aromatize the ices, use a different or special type of water, with a botanic touch or even adding a little bit of Angostura or Campari for appetizer cocktails, where the ices would have an attractive pink touch. 

To avoid the ice to water down the cocktail we should choose a good ice supplier and 12 seconds of mixture would be more than enough.

Photograph and text: George Restrepo

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