The Four Kinds of Cocktail Ice You Need to Throw the Perfect Cocktail Party

cocktail ice

There’s nothing more refined, and sophisticated, than throwing a cocktail party. Beer and wine are fine and fun, but nothing says that you’re an accomplished adult more than a cocktail party. It’s the place where a faint piano plays, and glasses lightly clink, and all the conversation is highbrow.

From the time that you were little, too little to even know what a cocktail actually was, you knew that cocktail parties were something fancy that adults did. Now’s your chance to be that fancy adult, and throw the best parties around.

You’ve got your carefully curated drink recipes. You’ve spent days tweaking your party playlist. You sent out real invites, through the mail, with a stamp, and everything. You spent a small fortune on liquor, and mixers. The stage is perfectly set for quite possibly the best cocktail party ever thrown, outside of 1950’s Hollywood, but there’s still one thing you’re forgetting.

The Four Kinds of Cocktail Ice You Need for a True Cocktail Party  

The ice you use is as much a part of the drink as the liquor, and the glass. That means that the ice requires just as much thought, and care.

Cocktail parties are no place for plastic trays of ordinary, cloudy cubes, or for lumps of gas station ice that you break apart with a hammer. Cocktail parties require specialty ice, and here are the four kinds you need to throw the perfect party.

1. Cubed Ice

You probably call all of your ice, ice cubes. There are so many types of ice, and yet you probably call all of them ice cubes. What a shame. While you’re filling ordinary trays full of lumpy rectangular-ish globs, you’re missing out on the classic cube shape.

A true ice cube brings poise, and balance to a cocktail. The compact, and symmetrical shape is oddly comforting as it sits nestled in a glass. Even the sound of the cubes clinking in the glass is more sophisticated, and the proportion elevates each glass to a work of art.

That may seem like a lot of nuance for a tray of ice cubes to carry off, but once you make the switch, you’ll never go back.

2. Crushed Ice

Crushed ice is the perfect companion to so many of your favorite drinks. It absorbs both flavors and colors easily, so it’s perfect for bright and fruity drinks. Mojitos, juleps of any kind, Moscow mules, and a long list of swizzle drinks, all work perfectly with crushed ice.

Lucky for you, crushed ice is pretty easy to obtain. In a pinch you can make it with a Ziploc bag and a hammer, but there are other more refined ways too. Manual ice crushers like this Innovee model make it easy to crush ice wherever you are, without worrying about an outlet.

Think of it as small-batch ice to go with your small-batch liquor. Instead of crushing pounds and pounds of ice, and letting it sit in a champagne bucket clumping together, you can crush ice for a few drinks at a time. Bartending at your cocktail party will be fun, and with stainless steel blades, you won’t even have to break a sweat.

3. Cracked Ice

To make a truly specialty ice drink, you can use cracked ice. It’s a close relative of crushed ice, but you can make it yourself, and the pieces are slightly larger. All you need is a canvas, or heavy-duty bag, and a wooden mallet.

You place the ice in the bag, give it a few knocks with the mallet, and add it to your drinks. Your guests will get a thrill of this authentic process, and they’ll get a little entertainment along the way.

4. Ice Molds

Nothing looks better in a glass of whiskey than one single, solitary, crystal clear, mammoth ice cube. It sits like a partially submerged iceberg in a sea of warm amber liquid. It’s beautiful. It’s almost too beautiful to drink.

Of course if you let this beautiful glass of whiskey sit for too long, you risk the ice diluting the flavor. Or at least, that was the old worry. With the help of science, and ice molds, you can sip your whiskey slowly, the way it should be, and you won’t have to worry about the whiskey getting watered down.

That’s because the ice molds, like this one here, are insulated, and they help form a denser ice cube. This denseness, coupled with its larger size, is what causes the ice to actually melt slower.

Ice molds are available in a variety of sizes, and their rubber, or silicone bases make them easy to work with. You can use them with plain tap water or a water purifier, and you get clear cubes that look great in all your drinks.

Ready to Conquer the World with Your Cocktail Ice

Once you add these four types of cocktail ice to your repertoire, your cocktails parties will be legendary, and you’ll be unstoppable. That’s not a bad trade-off for a well-stocked bar.

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