1 year ago

Summer Drinks: Ice, Ice Baby!


The importance of ice in cocktails goes way beyond cooling them down. Here are some tips and tricks along with some unusual summer drink recipes—all with ice as the protagonist.

The importance of ice in cocktails

Ice is an essential ingredient in drinks! Your carefully crafted cocktail can be ruined if the proper amount of ice is missing. Likewise, under the right circumstances, ice can sometimes save an ailing drink. Here are some suggestions to help guide you.

Rule of thumb: The better the ice’s quality, and its perfect proportion to other ingredients in the cocktail, the better the taste! 

Components of an Exquisite Cocktail: A Matter of Proportion 

  • A proportionate mix of water content, ABV (alcohol by volume) and temperature are the three major components of an exquisite cocktail. 
  • Remember that the ice dissolved by stirring and shaking can dilute your final cocktail by 15-20%. Applying an ABV to every cocktail will help you select the right type of ice as well as the right amount, depending on the kind of drink that you are preparing. 

Types of Ice: Cubes, Shaved, Cracked Ice and Block 

  • Use shaved ice when spirits are the principal ingredient of the drink and no water is employed. 
  • Cubes is the multipurpose ice used in all drinks, especially in drinks on the rocks because they don’t melt easily. The bigger the cubes, the slower they dissolve.
  • Shaved or finely crushed ice is perfect for frappes or cold brews. 
  • Carved ice balls and other custom-made ice shapes are currently in vogue for signature cocktails.

The Best Water, the Best Ice  

Use distilled, filtered or boiled water to make clear ice.
  • Use distilled, filtered or boiled water to make clear ice. It will not look cloudy. 
  • If you are looking for perfect ice, be sure to use the one essential bar tool: clear ice cube molds. 

Remember: always consider the size and quality of your ice. The highest quality drink ice is large, fresh from the freezer and with a neutral taste.  

Summer Drink Recipes 

Spicy Watermelon

Spicy Watermelon Altos Tequila cocktail

Very fruity and fresh, the tequila and watermelon are pushed forward by the lime and slight spiciness of the Ancho Reyes.

Simon Kistenfeger @the_real_vikingo, creator of Spicy Watermelon 

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml Altos plata
  • 20 ml Ancho Reyes Verde
  • 15 ml basil syrup
  • 45 ml fresh watermelon juice 
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice 
  • watermelon triangle and basil leaf for garnish

Method:

Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a tumbler filled with fresh, clear ice. Garnish with a small watermelon triangle and a basil leaf. 

Altos Fresh 

Altos Fresh Tequila Cocktail

I wanted to echo the green, citrus notes of Altos plata. Touches of cucumber and peppermint add a strong herb garden chord, hinting to a beautiful summer day. It is the perfect drink for the summertime. I just think it plays out beautifully!

Adrián Borgaro @karl01, creator of Altos Fresh 

Ingredients: 

  • 60 ml Altos plata 
  • 60 ml green tea
  • 30 ml cucumber syrup 
  • 25 ml fresh lime juice 
  • 1 barspoon Ricard 
  • cucumber slice and peppermint sprig for garnish 

Method: 

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and serve into a highball with ice. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a sprig of peppermint. 

Sunset Paloma 

Sunset Paloma Altos Tequila cocktail

This sunset cocktail is a good example of balanced sweet and sour. The fact that it calls for hibiscus flower extract—known in Mexico as Jamaica flower—makes it a very authentic Mexican drink, with a strong floral and sweet, almost fruity nose. You can easily make a bigger batch and call it a punch!

Dre Masso @dremasso, creator of Sunset Paloma 

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Altos plata
  • 60 ml fresh grapefruit juice 
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice 
  • 20 ml hibiscus syrup rim with salt and hibiscus
  • Hibiscus flower for garnish  

Method:

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and serve into a Collins glass and garnish with a hibiscus flower.