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The Geometry of Perfect Cocktail Ice: 4 Essential Shapes

The Geometry of Perfect Cocktail Ice: 4 Essential Shapes

Cocktail ice Photo © Sebastian Gollings

Once offered at only a few ambitious bars, crystal-clear, hand-carved ice is now the hallmark of any serious cocktail. Richard Boccato's quest for exceptionally pure ice for his Long Island City bar, Dutch Kills, led him to cofound an ice company next door, Hundredweight. The place slowly freezes purified water into 300-pound blocks that are cut by chain saw and, finally, by hand. The process is labor-intensive, but Boccato says it's necessary. "If you're going to pay $15 for a cocktail that we've taken pains to create, it would be throwing pearls at swine to drink it with a substandard level of frozen water."

The Spear
For any drink served in a highball glass with soda, like a Tom Collins or a Dark and Stormy.

Single Shaking Cube
For shaken drinks like daiquiris or gimlets.

The Sphere
For any boozy drink, like an old-fashioned, or any spirit typically served on the rocks, like whiskey.

Tapered Cube
For drinks made in the glass; the cube melts slowly, so it won't water down the cocktail.

Related: Best Cocktail Bars in the U.S.
Gifts for the Cocktail Enthusiast
Basic Cocktail Techniques: Perfect Ice Cubes

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