Only at the Tales of the Cocktail, all things liquor and the stories behind them, would you learn about specialty ices. On one level, the concept seems so over the top extravagant, spending as much as $10 more per drink to have ice cubes made with purified water and shaped into a sphere. But upon further examination, it makes perfect sense. You’re buying an experience with exotic cocktails. It’s not just the ritual and expertise behind mixing them but also the investment of using premium spirits and specialty liqueurs. Why ruin the the drink by tossing in rough edged cubes from freezer trays or an overworked ice machine that soda glasses get dunked into? Do you really want tap water filled with chlorine or harsh minerals altering that work of art for the worse? This is when it makes sense to spring for luxury ice.
A good example of a specialty ice brand is Gläce (pronounced “gloss”). Each 2.25" diameter sphere is individually carved and designed to enhance drink presentation. Since bartenders who make high-end cocktails serve them up in specialized glass wear using unique garnishes & exotic ingredients for superior taste and appearance, it only makes sense that Glace's sphere shaped ice cube becomes a vital addition.
So How is the Experience Really Different?
When you let this ice sphere sit and “age” for a few minutes in the glass or pour room temperature liquid over it, the frost dissolves revealing a crystal clear sphere. Beyond pure aesthetics, this design greatly reduces the surface area prone to melting which in turn slows down the time it takes to dilute the other ingredients. Both closet mixologists and professionals agree, cocktails that stay tastier longer invite another.