Next week, a restaurant called Second State will open in Washington, D.C. As is standard practice at most new restaurants, the cocktails will be extremely well considered. For $14, you can get something like a negroni or a martinez made with “bartender’s choice spirits.” But if you want your drink on the rocks, and you want those rocks to be crystal clear and handcrafted, well, that’s going to cost $1 more, please. This officially makes Second State the district’s first spot to tack on an artisan-ice surcharge, City Paper says, rather than just absorb the expense, but bar manager Phil Clark says the extra cost is worth it. “When it goes into a cocktail, it’s crystal clear,” he says. “It’s purified water, so there’s no minerally taste.”
Of course, “ice programs” are standard in high-end bars these days, and it can be sort of an ordeal to make uncloudy ice, so many places choose to make their own clear, dense, slow-to-melt ice in house with a Kold-Draft or similar machine. However, Clark’s staff doesn’t actually make Second State’s ice — it comes from a boutique water freezerie (our term — patent pending) called Favourite Ice, though the bar staff does round the ice off so it’s more spherical in the glass. Clark adds that the bar loses money on the ice once you factor in their delivery costs, causing one to wonder if he might have been better off just buying a few Brita filters and making his ice that way.