Monday, July 27, 2015

Ice to See You

I'm back again for what seems to be one of the few things that actually gets me to blog on occasion, Mixology Monday.  This month's theme is ice, so naturally I took my post title from the McBain movie. Ice is one of those things that alot of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts like to obsess over. This time I only have one picture but I have three tips.
The first tip is on making shaved ice. Pittsburgh has something of a local icon in Allegheny Commons with Gus and Yia Yia's shaved ice. When the family and I stopped there the last time I noticed how they shaved the ice for the snow cones. They had a large block of ice and something in their hands that produced a find shaved ice in short order. A bit of research and I discovered that the tool for shaving ice was available on Amazon and it was cheap. I tacked one on to an Amazon order and was ready to make some shaved ice. Rather than buy a block of ice, I took one of the wife's metal cake pans filled it with water and stuck it in my beer fridge's freezer. A day or so later I had a home sized block of ice to shave. Me being a rum fiend, a shave ice daiquiri was my first thought. As you can see in the below photo the shaver produces a fine white fluff of ice crystals, though it is adjustable so you can produce different sizes. I should have filled the glass more full to create a full glass of shaved ice, but frankly, my arm was tired. If you were to try this for yourself, I would suggest that you do like I did get the ingredient ready first, then shave the ice, so it doesn't melt while you put the drink together. I also made a nice cool treat for my 2 year old daughter with some shaved ice and homemade Fassionola I had for a Cobra's Fang. 
Tip number two was on how to make a clear ice ball in the home freezer. Basically I used Camper English's technique with a travel mug and a silicone ice ball mold. The travel mug was free with something or other, so it wasn't the best quality mug.  The trick with this is to have the hole in the mold pointed down into the full mug. This will slow the ice formation beneath the mold and for the air bubbles into that chunk of ice and out of the ice ball. 
The third tip is even simpler, and it was given to me recently when I found myself with two spare pineapples. I used one of those nifty little pineapple corers to pop out the center and leave myself with two pineapple cups. Rather than using these right away, I put both of them into the freezer so that when they are used, the drinking vessel itself is frozen and it won't water down the drink as it thaws. 

Check some of my older posts for techniques like making an ice shell and also my break down of the melting rates of different sizes of ices.

Thanks to the Muse of Doom herself over at the Feu  de Vie for hosting this month.