I am honored to have as Alcademics readers people who are just as huge cocktail nerds as I am. Many take on projects that I run out of time to do, pass along better information to me, or fill me in on the science I'm missing. Kevin Liu, who has recently started the blog Craft Cocktails at Home and also blogs at ScienceFare.org, tested a method of making clear ice that another reader left in blog comments. In this post, he discusses the science of clear ice and two methods to make it at home. The Igloo Cooler method, pioneered... Read more →
As you may recall, through much experimentation I figured out a way to make clear ice at home. I later found an ice cube tray that uses the same principle (controlling direction of freezing) to make clear ice. And now someone just pointed me to another ice cube tray that also uses the same principle (and has the same name as the last one). The Polar Ice Crystal Clear Ice Cube Tray is more compact than the other model, but it makes just one big cube at a time. Like the other model, this is an insulated container with a... Read more →
It turns out that Wayne Curtis has a lot of connections in the iceberg business. Wayne and I are co-leading a talk about Exotic Ice at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic on Monday, May 14th and we thought it would be cool to get some iceberg ice for it. Because the rate of precipitation in the Arctic is actually pretty low, it's not that hard to get some ice that is 10,000 or so years old. The air trapped between the thin layers of snow compresses as layers add on top of it, so when you pour a drink over iceberg... Read more →
I am giving three talks at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York on May 14th. I hope if you're in town you'll come hear them. First sign up for the Industry Invitational (all bar industry and media are welcome). These seminars require an rsvp and you can do that on the schedule page. It's all free. Filtration In Spirits Monday May 14, 2012 11:30am - 12:30pm @ Beverage Media Room: Studio 3 - Second Floor (485 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018 USA) We don’t often speak about filtration in spirits, yet it is the defining factor in Tennessee... Read more →
Today I'll link to two previous posts I did for Easter. The first is this colored ice that looks like Easter eggs, made with water balloons and food coloring. Go here to find out how I did it. If you're looking for a cocktail to use with this colored ice, may I suggest the Double Rainbow? And the second post was a use for bunny Peeps, because those things aren't really all that good to eat. The original post is here. Read more →
One difficulty with the Igloo Cooler method of making clear ice is that you get a great big block of ice at the end and have to cut it up into usable cubes yourself. I developed an ice cube tray using plastic boxes that gets the ice into long rectangles, and that's a bit closer to ideal. But if the desired result is round clear ice balls, we need to either produce a mold that fits inside the cooler, or else carve out ice balls afterwards. Well, it turns out that someone produced such a mold to make clear ice... Read more →
I got it into my head that I want to see a pond or lake ice harvest, despite my contempt for winter. Commercial ice harvests changed the cocktail landscape in America in the early-mid 1800s, allowing for the creation of juleps and cobblers and the popularization of the drinking straw and the cocktail shaker. Today there is still ice harvesting on many American lakes and ponds. As far as I can tell it's more historic reenactment more than practical, with most of the places that have an ice harvest limited to a single day of the year. Most places bring... Read more →
Camper English is a cocktails and spirits writer for publications including Saveur (Contributing Drinks Editor), Details.com (Cocktail Columnist), FSR Magazine (Spirits Editor), Whisky Advocate, PopSci.com, Mixology, Drinks International, and many more. Learn about Camper and Alcademics, or read clips of his published work.