We are in a golden age of ice. Bartenders are hand-carving it into crystal-clear cubes, they’re molding it into drink-specific shapes, and now they’ve found a way to make ice that does more than just cool a cocktail down. Here, Justin Siemer of Portland, Oregon’s Ración, shares tips on five easy-to-make flavored ices.
How to make it: For a refreshing, herbaceous snow, Siemer makes a lemon–mint simple syrup with a 4:1 water-to-sugar ratio, pours it into a hotel pan and freezes it. Ever hour or so he scrapes it with a fork, until the mixture is fluffy and frozen.
How to use it: Siemer serves it alongside a shot of bourbon for a DIY mint julep (without any bitter bits of mint leaves). Simply scoop the ice into a glass, pour in the bourbon shot and enjoy.
How to make it: Seed and juice a selection of bell and serrano peppers. Pour the juice into ice trays (Siemer prefers Tovolo’s silicone Perfect Cube trays) and freeze.
How to use it: Siemer uses one large cube in Ración’s Vodka Smash: Vodka, ginger shrub (a mix of fresh ginger and cider vinegar that is macerated, strained, heated with sugar and chilled), simple syrup and lime juice, shaken and poured over the ice, and topped with soda water.