Only at Tales of the Cocktail, all things liquor and the stories behind them, would you learn about specialty ices. On one level, the concept seems so over the top extravagant, spending as much as $10 more per drink to have ice cubes made with purified water and shaped into a sphere. But upon further examination, it makes perfect sense. You’re buying an experience with exotic cocktails. It’s not just the ritual and expertise behind mixing them but there’s also the investment of using premium spirits and specialty liqueurs. Why ruin the experience and possibly the drink by tossing in rough edged cubes from freezer trays or an overworked ice machine that soda glasses get dunked into? Do you really want tap water filled with chlorine or harsh minerals altering that work of art for the worse? This is when it makes sense to spring for luxury ice.
A good example of a specialty ice brand is Gläce (pronounced “gloss”). Each 2.25″ diameter sphere is individually carved and designed to enhance drink presentation. Since bartenders and mixologists who make high-end cocktails work hard on presentation using specialized glass wear, unique garnishes, and exotic ingredients for texture and color, this sphere shaped ice cube is the perfect addition. When you let it sit and “age” for a few minutes or pour room temperature liquid over it, the frost dissolves leaving a clear sphere. Beyond pure aesthetics, there’s less surface area to melt, slowing down the time it takes to dilute the other ingredients.
So now you have a proper ice pairing option with your favorite drink.