Prepare the Finest Cracked Ice Cocktails From a Vintage Tray

Cocktail people love to talk about the importance of clear ice, but they don’t talk much about cracked ice, which is too bad because cracked ice is the best ice for chilling your drink.

According to respected cocktail writer Dave Vondrich, “stir with ice” is the best advice he can give you, and that says a lot because Vondrich has a lot of advice.

The logic behind this tip is simple: cracking the ice increases its area, resulting in ” faster cooling and more dilution, but not too much.”

You can buy packs of cracked ice or crack it yourself by hitting it with a bar spoon. Or you can get one of these adorable vintage ice cube trays that will crack open a whole bunch of frozen water right away. (You can find them on Etsy ).

I don’t know if the inventor of this particular type of tray intended to create such an elegant cracked ice maker. I suspect this was the easiest way to break ice into cubes that would fit in a glass, given the materials widely available at the time. It doesn’t really matter what the intent was – this thing absolutely destroys the mass of frozen water it sits in, creating shards and rough cubes of all shapes and sizes, which means you end up with a whole bunch of cracked ice in one go. … If you stir a lot of cocktails, you should probably grab one.

You might think this is not serious, but good cocktails require a little frivolity. In fact, I would say that frivolity is part of the pleasure. You know it’s not fun? Having to break the ice by hand with a bar spoon every time you want to have a martini, Manhattan drink, or any other beverage that needs cooling and dilution. It is also very pleasant to pull the ice cracking lever.

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