How to break the ice on World Cocktail Day
Because a Negroni without a glistening chunk of ice is like summer without mangoes
“The most important component of a cocktail is ice," says Neil Alexander, corporate mixologist at the Bengaluru-based Windmills Craftworks, adding, “It keeps your drink cold and enhances your experience."
Mixologists pay as much attention to making crystal clear ice as developing a cocktail. Small chunks of ice, like the ones in an iced tea, melt faster and dilute a drink, stripping off the flavours. But a large chunk takes time to melt and is perfect for a Negroni or Old Fashioned.
For those experimenting with cocktails at home during the lockdown, Alexander shares the process of making bar-style ice. Take a one-litre plastic container and fill it with water. This is the minimum size needed. Set the freezer temperature between -3 to -8 degree centigrade. Place the container with water in the freezer without the lid. After three hours, take a look. It should not have any bubbles. Put it back in the freezer and check again after two hours. You’ll notice that there is solid ice formation on the surface. Take a good look to ascertain if the top is really well frozen. Then secure the container with a lid. Flip and let it sit for 3-4 hours (If it is in the fridge for too long, it’ll become cloudy and you want clear ice.) Take out the container, gently de-mould the ice block and put it on a chopping board. To break it, place the sharp edge of a large knife on its surface. Gently hit on the blunt side of the knife two or three times. Your ice will be neatly cut. To mould it into a spherical form, place it under running water and use your hands to shape it. Wear gloves, if needed. Another way to shape the ice is to use a gym bottle filled with water. Roll it on the edge of the cut ice to give it a roundish shape. The whole process takes about 8 hours and Alexander suggests starting the process in the morning. By evening, you are ready to enjoy your drink with a striking ball of clear ice.
Predictably, it will make for spectacular Instagram visuals. Aneesh Bhasin, co-founder of Svami, has garnered interest with his ice-making updates on the social media platform with his account @aneeshb.
The bonus is his exemplary photography skills that set a moody tone. He has also posted a video on the brand’s page @svamidrinks. The entire process is unbelievably simple and it will elevate your happy hour at home.
FIRST PUBLISHED13.05.2020 | 08:00 AM IST