Cool As Ice

First came Vitamin Water; then designer water. Then tap water became de rigueur for the environmentally hip gourmand. So forgive us for thinking that the beverage companies’ idea well finally ran dry. Clearly this wasn’t the case. Allow us to introduce you, by way of the New York Times , to the new frontier in thirst quenching: Ice.

According to Jane McEwen, the executive director of International Packaged Ice Association, ice is water’s “sister product.”

As a sibling, ice is both mutable and fickle. “There are different forms of ice,” Ms. McEwen explained, and while every cube of ice has the same essential end point — and a purpose little understood in countries like, say, England or France — its use can be manipulated, ice experts say, to improve the quality of the drink it cools. Thus, there is fragmented ice (soda fountain drinks), nugget and cube ice (mixed drinks) and ice that is shaved. There is ice with dimpled ends that is ideal for chewing. There is ice manufactured using patented Japanese methods for eliminating the air bubbles that cloud a cocktail, inhibiting it from becoming a beautiful elixir, frigid and mystically clear.

But nothing gourmet – even ice –comes cheap. Commercial machines such as those made by Hoshizaki and Scotsman, could cost a true connoisseur upwards of five grand. As a compromise, may we suggest something like the potables at New York’s Tailor, which brandish some of the coolest ice cubes this side of the North Pole.

If you happen to be in the Big Apple, you may want to sample Tailor’s two-inch cubes, which fit perfectly inside a rocks glass and look like miniature works of art. They can be purchased at a mere $15. (Firewater is, of course, included.) Eben Freeman, the bartender at Tailor, is an old pro at re-inventing the quotidian, even the very ordinary and unremarkable icicle.

I Like My Ice Chilled Just So [New York Times]
Drink: Eben Freeman is a Magical Mixologist [New York Post]
Tailor [MenuPages]
Tailor [Official Site]

[Photo: Via Tailor Official Site]

Cool As Ice