Around here, we've moved past the short glass - the whiskey in a tumbler, the shaken 3 oz. cocktails of spring -and opting for the long and tall. With sunshine comes all-day drinks: those mixed with plenty of ice and fresh ingredients to keep you cool.
Of course, it's ice that keeps 'em cool, and when your glass sits around in the heat...well, ice melts. So, this summer, make that a good thing. We're sharing our technique and recipes to allow the ice to actually contribute to the flavor of a drink or cocktail, not just its temperature or dilution. Check it out!
Ice-fishing is a big part of winter culture in Minnesota where I grew up, and essentially a good excuse for adults to build a fort and hangout. There's something heartening and cozy yet simultaneously adventurous about being in a little shack on the ice, usually fairly warm, but knowing all the while that the harsh elements are waiting just outside, whooshing on the walls.
A fantastic, easy project for summer: add a built-in cooler to a wooden picnic table to store drinks, keep condiments cool, and, generally, be an outdoor dining, grill-dominating mastermind.
Canadian artist Nicole Dextras has created an amazing series of three-dimensional words fabricated by hand in ice. The installations, "speak to how the viewer’s gaze frames and informs the landscape. The installations have varied from 8-foot high ice letters on the Yukon River to 18-inch high letters set in downtown Toronto."
The letters are then left to let the temperature of the space to affect their meaning, altering their scope through the melting process.
Swiss ice climber Ueli Steck not only free climbs some of the most intense and scary ice-covered mountains using only hand-axes, he climbs them in just a few hours. He's broken speed records like crazy in the Alps - "Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck set a record time for ascending "The Eiger's" treacherously steep north face. Steck destroyed the previous record (set by himself) by summiting the legendary 13,025 foot mountain in Switzerland's Bernese Alps in only two hours and 47 minutes. Beating your own records just for the sake of beating them?"
Watch the video to this this amazing guy at his best:
Today's been a day of snow and special places, so let's finish it up with the perfect combo: a handmade igloo in your very own backyard. I mean, it's cold outside, you've probably got some extra time off this week, and when it's all over, you've got an igloo in your backyard. Oh, and its free.
Twenty years ago, the Jukkasjarvi hotel in Sweden began accepting reservations. And twenty years ago, it melted. Then, nineteen years ago, it was back.
Of course, the Jukkasjarvi hotel is made of ice. And while its the first and still the largest, there are lots of ice hotels this winter worthy of drool. Just don't do it for too long, cause it might freeze.
"If you're imagining simple igloos and snow caves, think again: Ice hotels are an extraordinary, otherworldly exercise in sculpture and design.
The nighttime is the right time...for cocktails that is. "As twilight descends and drinks are poured, add bite to your beverage with the Cold Blooded Vampire ice cubes. Perfect for Bloody Mary and other spine-tingling drinks fit for the vampire lovers in your family."
The tray's even shaped like a coffin!
It was only a matter of time, really...somebody was bound to think of this sooner or later.
Mexican-style lager pair with fresh lime and sweetened just a bit with natural agave syrup. We especially like this one cause you get to cut through the beer can with a knife or a hacksaw, late-night infomercial style.
When I was a kid, my parents always made iced tea in this vintage sun tea jar, complete with big 70s yellow poppies and a broken spigot. I never really realized what they were doing by sitting that thing on the back porch...besides making us chase extra fast to grab missed catches and tags during our neighborhood kickball game.
It's a pretty clever idea, the sun tea...when its this hot outside, the last thing you want to do is boil a big kettle of water and cool it down for hours to make a cold drink. But know what's even awesome-r, and quicker? Simply making great ice tea in your refrigerator overnight.
One glass. Two ingredients. One step. Delicious. And its probably healthier than milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream....