When making your favourite drink, everything from ingredients, to glassware, to garnishes, has to be spot on, right?

One thing that is almost always overlooked, however, is the type of ice you should be using with each of your evening tipples. 

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your mixology, drinks expert, The Ice Co, has compiled a comprehensive guide explaining why and when you should be using ice, which type should be served with each drink, and the common mistakes to avoid. 

  1. It balances out that trademark alcoholic burn

Everyone is familiar with the tongue-tingling burn of straight spirits, and though some seasoned veterans might enjoy the punch, particularly for those who are just starting to drink, something a bit more palatable is often preferred. 

Adding ice to evening tipples such as whisky, rum and brandy can help tone down that fiery flavour, and make the drinking experience a much more enjoyable one. As the alcohol cools down, its flavour is inhibited, therefore taking off the eye-watering edge. Too much ice can ruin the drink entirely, however: The Ice Co recommends using larger, rounded cubes, such as its Super Cubes, in neat drinks, as they melt a lot more slowly. 

  1. It alters texture and dilution 

In the same way that water dilutes concentrates such as squash, ice, as it melts, does the same to your boozy beverages. Though this isn’t always wanted in spirit-forward drinks, in cocktails, which are often sweeter and fruitier, adding ice can help open out all the different flavours, creating a more rounded and balanced taste. 

The Ice Co advises using its Polar Cube ice for highball cocktails such as G&Ts, as the shape of the cubes, combined with the size of the glass, helps to accentuate the drink’s carbonation. Tropical cocktails, on the other hand, are best served with Crushed Ice, to help even out those intense flavours.

  1. It adds freshness 

It may sound simple, but the most noticeable effect that ice has on the flavour of your drink is in the burst of freshness it gives. No one wants a lukewarm, over an ice-cold, lager, or a tepid white wine, when it could be perfectly chilled. Whether it’s added to the glass, or used to cool the bottle, ice can nearly always be relied on to help a drink hit the spot.

To keep that six-pack at the same temperature as when it left the shop, The Ice Co recommends generously filling a bucket with Party Ice and separately submerging each can. 

  1. If badly stored, it can introduce unwanted flavours

Perhaps the most niche fact is that the freshness of the ice you use can hugely alter the flavour of alcohol. We’ve all been there – trying to cram the ice cube tray into the small gap in the freezer, next to the fish and Friday night’s leftovers. What isn’t known is that the odours from frozen food can easily be absorbed by ice, and then, you guessed it, transferred to your drink.  

If, like us, you’d rather enjoy your gin and tonic without any traces of two-day-old tikka masala, it’s best to buy ice you’re intending to put in your drink, fresh from the shop. 

Lucy Redman, Head of Marketing at The Ice Co, commented: “Everyone likes to indulge in an alcoholic treat (or two!) around Christmas and the New Year. We want to show people that they can still add that extra burst of flavour to their favourite drinks, without having to go out and buy any fancy ingredients. Without sounding too cliché, you could say it’s pretty ‘cool!”

For further cocktail recipes, lifestyle hacks and product news, you can visit The Ice Co website: http://www.theiceco.co.uk/

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