A few weekends ago, my wife and I went out for a special dinner to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. We opted to enjoy a few beers with our meal, but the table next to us had ordered cocktails. They each showed up with the glass half full of color - slanted, with the liquid on top. Initially, I thought it was simply a triangular shaped glass, where the bottom angle was simply solid. But as I looked closer, I realized, in fact: it was a frozen wedge of solid ice, attached to the glass so it maintained the effect.
I asked the server how it was done, and she told me the bartender had a bunch of little rubber molds that fit the glass, and the whole thing goes into the freezer. She said they were cool, but only fit the certain glass they came with; so only a certain number of cocktail recipes are served in them, and they run out each night.
A few days later, I looked it up to see if I could pick up one or two. I found the product - it's a glass with a custom silicone insert that freezes the ice at a perfect 45° angle, cutting right down the center. They cost about $20 each, and are kinda cool.
But - they're also unnecessary. Because you can achieve the same effect without spending a dime, using any rocks glass you already have. Here's how to do it.
Step One: Fill your glass halfway with water. If you're a perfectionist like me, you can figure out that your glasses are 12 oz., and measure out exactly 6 oz. into each glass. This is entirely unnecessary, and doesn't affect the final results one tiny bit.
Step Two: Place your glass in a container that will help you support it at an angle. You could probably just prop it up against something in your freezer, especially if your shelves are wired and can support it from the bottom. Since I was making several at once, I opted for a muffin tin that would allow me to put in/take out with minimal spilling, and dial in the angle.
Step Three: Put everything in the freezer. Futz with the glasses until they're angled so that just a little bit of water spills through front. That will make a nice, even 45° angle. Try not to move them after this point, or it will create air bubbles in your glass.
Step Four: Leave to chill until frozen solid. This will probably take about six hours; I left mine in overnight.
Boom. You're done! Leave in the freezer until happy hour. They can come out of the container and sit upright if desired.
There you go, a DIY whiskey wedge without spending any money.
Why is this cool?
Larger chunks of ice slow the dilution rate of the drink. You've probably seen those large 2" ice cube trays, or even the ice sphere molds, that chill your drink without watering it down, and keeping it flavorful. This works on the same principle, except the ice is even bigger, and...frankly, it looks cool.
What kind of drinks does this work best with?
Personally, I'm a neat whiskey guy, but if you like your Bourbon or Scotch on the rocks, this is certainly a great application that will keep it cool with getting watery. If you want a little water to open it up, you can just add a drop from the tap.
For cocktails, this would work best for anything that doesn't rely on a planned amount of dilution to bring everything together. So namely, anything that's shaken or stirred, where mixing with the ice creates proper proportions. Specifically, this is a great one for drinks that might typically be enjoyed "up", but you want to stay super cold (like a Negroni, Gimlet, Boulevardier), or if you don't want to deal with the hassle of a martini glass. I'd use them on a margarita or anything summer-y; and, perhaps real affionados might call it crass, I'd drink a gin martini out of one of these in a heartbeat. I always want those to be colder so I can sip slower, and this is a great way to do it without watering it down.
I haven't tried it with drinks that involve muddling and need to be built in the glass, like a mojito or Old Fashioned, but I most certainly will.
Definitely, this is mostly presentation. But what a presentation it is. Flavor-wise, I'm sure you can't really tell the difference between this and a big ice ball or extra large cube. But, this way, your nose doesn't bump into it while sipping. And now that the weather is heating up, it's most certainly time to keep your cocktails nice and cold.
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