Something cool is happening in your glass. Bar programs are abandoning hollowed- out cubes to take advantage of the hottest new ice gadgets to improve your drink experience.
Kirk Ingram, bartender at Greenville’s American Grocery Restaurant, explains that at the turn of the twentieth century, ice was a luxury. People brought in blocks, and cut and chiseled ice to order.
What is old is new again. Ingram uses a Lewis Bag and Schmallet ice mallet to crush ice, and uses sphere and cube ice molds. Greenville’s High Cotton uses sphere ice balls and large king cubes for serving whisky, bourbon, and Scotch on the rocks. Beverage manager Ryan Hileman says the ice looks sexy in the glass and melts 90-percent slower than regular ice. Larger cubes and perfectly clear spheres allow the liquor to open up gradually.
The Bar at Husk in Charleston uses 2×2-in cubes made from silicone trays and brings in ice from a local purveyor for chipping. The restaurant also utilizes a Taisin ice ball maker, which produces perfectly clear spheres and is served with their top-shelf bourbons. “It’s all about dilution and aesthetics,” says R.H. Weaver, the head barman at Husk. Water and freezing methods also make a difference. Triple-filtered and distilled water and slow-freezing techniques are used to further enhance the experience.