July was a pretty exciting month for my family, as we all had a reunion with cousins and brothers and sisters up in Alaska. We harvested clear ice right off the beach at Grewingk Glacier, and toasted some Alaskan Whiskey with the most unique clear ice you can imagine. Keep living the clear ice life out there!
Mixology Ice is one of the vendors listed on the Makers page. There is a nice article about their business in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Check it out.
If you’ve ever sipped an $18 bourbon rocks at a classy tavern in South Florida, chances are good those rocks came from Mixology Ice. At his chilly warehouse northwest of Miami International Airport, Leal and his partner, Fabian Alvarez, pump out massive blocks of clear ice every five days. These icemen start with tap water, which flows through a five-step filtration system that peels away impurities. Once filtered, a $5,000 freezer called a Clinebell chills the water into two 300-pound blocks. Leal says that ice is then painstaking carved into Collins rods, chiseled into two-inch cubes and molded into spheres...
I make it a point to listen to the Marketplace on NPR pretty much every morning. I subscribe to the podcast so I always catch it in the morning after it airs on NPR at 6:30 ET the night before. Funny enough, they had an entire segment about Clear Ice!
Cocktail author Jim Meehan recalls working in a bar in Wisconsin in the 1990s.
Here's a collection of what living the clear ice life in my world looks like. Do you collect your clear ice moments too??
I stumbled across an article that asked this very question: "What's the most important ingredient in a cocktail?" and then they add the click bait part: YOU'LL NEVER GUESS... But guess what... I totally guessed. :)
“Ice is the most important part of your drink,” declares Jay Khan, founder of the agave-focused bar Coa. “It controls the dilution and temperature of your cocktail. I’d say that 98 per cent of our drinks here use ice, so it’s essential. Not to mention, good clear ice just looks sexy.”
Spoiler alert: It's clear ice! Possibly with flowers in it...
I came across a pretty solid list of rigs you can use to make clearer ice at home. There is also a list on the Maker page for @home as well!
Even if you’ve perfected your mixology skills and filled your cabinets with fancy glasses and bartending tools, your homemade Old Fashioned or Aperol Spritz will never live up to the ones served at a craft-cocktail bar if you use cloudy ice cubes that smell vaguely like the leftovers you’ve been storing in the freezer. As Mathew Resler, the head bartender at Bar Goto, says, “Ice is an integral ingredient when making cocktails. The appearance, dilution ratio, taste, and purity are all essential to a proper drink.”
With a new job, other hobbies, and end of the year kid activity overload, I've been a bit swamped with life. But that doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying the clear ice life! I hope you've been at it too! Here are some snaps of recent clear ice adventuring.
All of it hand cut. All of it made with love. Most of it shared with friends.
According to the email list I am on, the Forge Clear Ice System is starting pre-orders this month! June 19th, you can go to their site and sign up for a $1,500 system.
The "system" contains two components: the Ice Maker, and the Heated Press.
The Ice Maker creates multiple large gem-shaped blocks of clear ice in hours and holds them at the ideal temperature in an internal freezer. You can then use the Heated Press to shape those gems into clear ice spheres in about a minute. It looks like quite the setup!
While I was on a business trip to LA, I ended the evening at a restaurant and bar in the Sheraton Grand Hotel called District. They had an amazing cocktail program going, including a solid clear ice program with all of the ice produced in-house.
Here are some other ice program photos:
I highly recommend you check it out if you are in LA. They really care about what they are doing there. The cocktail smoking program is also on point as well!
One of the makers in the directory, Chisel & Shaker, were featured in an online article at Distinction. In there, they ask the question, is ice just another pretty face?
Matt Jones answers: "“You go into a nice place and get a $10 drink where everything is perfect, so why wouldn’t you pay attention to your ice?"
Indeed Matt! Read more
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ClearIce.Life is maintained by Trapper Markelz in pursuit of elevated cocktail experiences at home, and with friends.
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