If you’re serious about making a perfect drink, don’t blow it with the ice. Bagged ice melts too fast, watering down a cocktail before you can finish it. Ice that has been sitting in your freezer can transfer the flavors of leftover pizza to an otherwise meticulously made manhattan. Yes, ice makes a drink cold, but proper dilution is how you dial it in. Here are the essential shapes and how they can up your cocktail game.
Canvas Lewis bag, $6
Juleps, painkillers and other crushed-ice cocktails can be watered down too rapidly by ice made in a blender or food processor. Make like a pro mixologist and crush your cubes in a cloth Lewis bag. The fabric absorbs excess liquid.
Collins ice mold, $8
You know how a gin and tonic tastes good for only about the first three sips? That’s because you’re using the wrong ice. Long and rectangular collins ice looks cool and melts slowly, thereby extending the life of the ideal booze-to-mixer ratio.
Ice sphere molds, $13
This is the go-to ice shape for scotch drinkers. An ice sphere’s large mass and minimal surface area chill a drink down fast but dilute it slowly. This allows you to taste the nuances of a super-premium spirit as it mixes with water over time and the flavors and aroma evolve.
1¼-inch ice cube tray, $7
If you’re going to invest in only one custom mold, a cube tray is best. Fill it with bottled or filtered water to ensure clean taste, and use the cubes when shaking up cocktails or drinking bourbon on the rocks.