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Build a Better: Ice cube

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Innovative cold stuff—including ice—is hot these days. Not only have ice shapes evolved, creative mixologists are infusing ice with flavors as well. What's cool?

Spheres:  Grill Marks in Greenville, SC, has introduced “Marks Ice Melts” deconstructed cocktails that pair premium liquors with flavored-infused ice spheres and cubes. The flavor of the cocktail evolves as the ice melts.  “The idea was to create ice cubes and spheres with all of the nonalcoholic components of a signature cocktail that, when placed in liquor, gradually melt into the perfect mojito, a savory old fashioned or even a classic martini with a candied Meyer lemon twist,” explains bartender Amanda Swacker.

At Lago by Julian Serrano, in Bellagio Las Vegas, the hotel's master mixologist Ricardo Murcia has designed Italian versions of classic cocktails with intricate garnishes, including edible cocktail spheres. The Sgroppino features a frozen sphere of prosecco, lemoncello, lemon sorbet and cocoa butter. The sphere rests atop a scoop of lemon sorbet that guests can stir into the prosecco after finishing the sphere.

Cones: Sometimes, the future draws on the past. At Blue Duck Tavern in Washington DC, the BDT Snow Cone will be added to the rotating seasonal dessert menu this month. BDT Snow Cones, created by executive pastry chef Naomi Gallego, incorporate house-made syrups and handpicked herbs from the restaurant’s garden. Syrups are poured over freshly shaved ice and will be available in three rotating flavors daily. Choices will include strawberries and cream, BDT apple pie and cream, ginger raspberry rhubarb, Arnold Palmer and others. The BDT Snow Cones are priced at $7 each and will be available during lunch service.

Blocks: At Café Clover in NYC, chef David Standridge’s modern American menu is complemented by seasonal cocktails from bar consultant Johnny Swet. The Tropic Thunder, for instance, is a combination of rum, house-made pineapple syrup, fresh lime and Thai bird’s eye chili served with a coconut water ice block.

Contact Gail Bellamy at [email protected].


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