“You’re as cold as ice . . .
You never take advice
Someday you’ll pay the price, I know”
– Foreigner – Cold as Ice
As we’ve discussed before in our post about Ice Spheres and in our Bartending Tidbits page, almost all cocktails are meant to be served cold. Very cold. For shaken drinks, that means that you shake until you’re hand is frozen to the shaker. For stirred drinks, you should stir for about three times longer than you think is necessary. Admittedly, neither of those measures is too scientific. Here is short video from Wired Magazine Booze Science on a more scientific approach.
Of course, it’s not only about how cold the drink is, but about how much water is added to the recipe through dilution and how the texture of the drink changes with more water. One important point to remember is that the recipes you use to make standard cocktails assume some level of dilution through chilling. If you don’t chill the drink and let some of the ice melt, you are actually missing a component of the recipe.
If you watch a bartender at a good craft bar, you’ll see that they will put ice in the stirring glass and let the glass cool for a few minutes while they get their ingredients. They then add the ingredients to the stirring glass and stir continuously for what seems like a very long time to make sure the drink is chilled and enough of the ice has melted. If the drink they are making calls for ice in the serving glass, new ice is always placed in the serving glass and the ice used for mixing is discarded. Basically, always use lots of ice and more time than you’d think to make it right.
I get lazy all the time and neglect to chill appropriately. This is a good reminder for me to spend a few more seconds to make better drinks.