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Friday Cocktail Blogging: The Importance of Ice and Water

with 6 comments

Haven’t had time to try anything especially new, hence just a couple of links for this weekend.

There are numerous cocktail related blogs and web-sites out there, but most simply rehash recipes and are rarely useful or enjoyable to read. However, The Art of Drink by Darcy O’Neil is a welcome exception. Darcy’s a chemist by training (and possibly continues to hold a day job in that profession) and a cocktail expert by soul. He uses his chemist’s expertise and fluid prose to provide great insights into various cocktails, spirits and beers.

In his latest blog-post he stressed the importance of good ice, something I have mentioned earlier in a FCB-post; however he explains it in a much more logical manner, touching on the why highball drinks are served better with bigger ice-cubes.

The obvious part about ice is that it is simply there to chill the drink. It is true that a really cold cocktail taste better, and that’s because cocktails have a different flavour balance than wine or beer. Your standard megabrew beer has a low alcohol content (5% ABV) so serving it even lightly chilled will remove any traces of the alcohol flavour. When you get into vintage wines, they can have an alcohol range from 12% to 15.5% so the alcohol is more apparent. If the wine is served too warm, then the alcohol will take over and make the wine “hot”. This is not good. But cocktails can have an even higher percentage of alcohol, think martini, so they need to be much, much colder to avoid that “hot” alcohol sensation.

Do read in full if you are interested in making good cocktails at home.

While on the topic of water, the ‘molecular gastronomy’ blog, khymos, offers an interesting perspective on the old question of whether water releases the aroma of whiskey. Once again, and not surprisingly, chemistry is involved. Must read for geeky scotch lovers.

Cheers !

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 22, 2007 at 5:03 am

Posted in Martinis

6 Responses

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  1. This is going to need a little getting used to…it is 6:30 in the morning here and I find your martini post on the top of my feed reader! (PS: Thanks for the link)


    June 22, 2007 at 6:54 am

  2. Ponditji

    Want to share a wonderful cocktail I had yesterday.

    It was a hot day, and humid, and the sun was blazing and the people were crowding.

    Now the cocktail:

    1. Go to the fridge
    2. Get the chilled (I mean really *chilled*) can of Heineken
    3. Open it
    4. Drink it


    June 23, 2007 at 9:16 pm

  3. @curiouscat: a martini in the morning – perhaps its time has come. 🙂

    @nitin: Thanks for the recipe 🙂 And indeed – under the circumstances you describe – nothing beats a chilled lager.


    June 24, 2007 at 12:37 am

  4. Aren’t you a drunkard! 🙂


    June 25, 2007 at 9:51 am

  5. Awww Nitin, another Beer lover! Yes!!


    June 25, 2007 at 7:30 pm

  6. […] with Scotch. Now, if it is a single-malt Scotch, then mixing a nip with anything other than a hint of H2O, is pure sacrilege. However, if it is blended malt that you have in the kitchen cupboard, then be a […]

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