Ice Ice baby

Artisanal ices are part of all the best bars


As we’ve gotten more serious about our cocktail culture across the country, bars are stepping up their ice game.

“If you’re talking premium liquor, you expect premium glass and ice too,” Andrew Bohrer, a longtime Seattle bartender told Wired magazine.

There are now boutique ice delivery services and expensive machines necessary to custom make and carve it. Bars have costs to cover for the best ice that supports their high-end drinks. Bohrer estimates that artisanal ice adds 60 to 80 cents to a drink’s cost.

Cocktail ice is judged by clarity, size, density, and cut which all contribute to the high-end cocktail experience. Slow-frozen ice is perfectly clear and results in ice that is colder and harder than garden variety cubes bought in bags at gas stations.

Restauranteurs are also investing in their own custom machines that can spit out different shapes for spirit-heavy drinks to control and slow down dilution of expensive, aged liquors.

Some bars, including THE INTERVAL in San Francisco, are creating recipes that have a specific temperature and they use a thermometer to get them perfect.

If you’re completely obsessed, make artisanal ice at home with THIS RECIPE.