Miracles On Ice

Flower-Laced Cubes, Wood-Smoked Ice and Other Forms Of Frozen Ingenuity

Photo: Anna-Ok/Getty Images (Lavender Ice); arismart/Getty Images (Ice Sphere); Markus Spiering / EyeEm/Getty Images (Smoked Ice); itsJohnDay/Getty Images (Herb-Smoked Ice); Dulin/Getty Images (Pebble Ice)
Making a truly transcendent cocktail requires meticulous attention to every element of the drink. In addition to finding the perfect liquor, its most complimentary vermouth, and applying your signiture rinse, you must pay attention to what your ice is doing for the cocktail. Here are five ice inspirations to put you over the top...

The ice: Lavender-infused.
The ideal usage: Bars like Sel Rrose in NYC are putting them in champagne with herbes de Provence syrup and grapefruit bitters. We'd suggest a similarly light, summer-y approach, with a gin-based libation working just as splendidly.
How you'll pull it off: Boil some water. Gather the fragrant flowers or herbs of your choice. Put 'em in an empty ice tray and pour the heated water into the tray, allowing it to cool before giving it the freezer treatment. Which, yes, is an expression we just coined.

The ice: Large, sleek, and perfectly spherical.
The ideal usage: Thoughtfully dropped into a whiskey-based cocktail.
How you'll pull it off: Easily. Go for some silicone spherical molds, or acquire this probably-unnecessary device that'll take all the guess-work out of it. In case guess-work and you have issues.

The ice: Wood-smoked.
The ideal usage: Turning any sweet or fruity cocktail into a richer, weightier, and more complex cocktail. As smoke does.
How you'll pull it off: Tell whoever questions putting ice cubes into a smoker that ice has more surface area than water, so the smoke will cling to it. Place said ice in a shallow pan, and throw that pan in a smoker or grill on low-heat until it's melted and adequately smoked. Then re-freeze the smoked-water in your tray again and proceed to have the best Bloody Marys of your life.

The ice: Herb-smoked.
The ideal usage: Adding it to a Manhattan that you want to make progressively more delicious.
How you'll pull it off: Same as above, just add some rosemary or thyme to your wood chip-mix.

The ice: Those tiny, glorious little nuggets of ice.
The ideal usage: Tiki drinks. Mojitos. Pretty much everything else.
How you'll pull it off: No how-tos here. You've just got to spring for the real thing. We're pretty stoked that exists, too.
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