Ice is the unsung hero of cocktails. It chills drinks while providing dilution to enhance flavors and aromas, but it often goes unnoticed. Here are six tools that’ll help you elevate your own ice situation at home.
Cylinda Ice Tongs
These sleek tongs from famed Danish designer Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda line for Stelton are perfectly suited for cocktailing. Three holes on the bottom of each stainless steel prong ensure no slippage or excess water when pulling ice from the bucket, and the clean mid-century feel looks great on a bar cart. $34.95, shophorne.com
Ice Box with Ice Tray Lid
Spanish brand Lékué has manufactured food-safe silicone since 1980, and their ice box remains their most ingenious design. With a reversible fitted lid that doubles as an ice cube tray above the petite box, Lékué’s two-for-one whammy is the real deal. It’s a cinch to dislodge the small, imaginatively shaped cubes by pressing the back of the silicone tray, and the box beneath stores up to 132 of them, safely contained away from freezer smells. $30, lekueusa.com
Nokogiri Ice Saw
Give your garnish a run for the spotlight with fresh, hand-cut cubes. The Urban Bar Japanese Steel Nokogiri Ice Saw offers nothing but precision (and the promise of impressive showmanship) when it comes to your ice game. The saw’s serrated stainless steel blade (with alternating curved teeth) and beechwood handle make it beautiful, but make no mistake, this is a hard- working, long-lasting tool. $199.99, kegworks.com
“Schmallet” Ice Mallet and Lewis Bag
The ice mallet and Lewis bag duo have operated efficiently as a way to crush ice (while fitting in a quick therapy session) since the 19th century. With a sturdy wood mallet for smashing and a drawstring canvas bag to secure ice and absorb excess melt, you’ll be crushing cobblers in no time. $5.99 for bag/$15.99 for mallet, cocktailkingdom.com
True Cubes Tray
Forget having to rely on boiled or distilled water for clear DIY cocktail ice. The True Cubes Tray—which uses two silicone trays and an insulator box designed to mimic how water is frozen in nature—freezes four professional-looking 2-inch cubes from regular old tap water. The cubes melt slowly as they contain less air than traditional ones, meaning drinks can chill without excessive dilution. $45, truecubes.com
Yamachu Ice Pick
Get down to the finer points of ice with the Yamachu Ice Pick. Handmade in Japan, the pick offers three stainless steel tools sharpened on a ceramic wheel with which to manipulate ice: the pointed prong for precision and two sides of the anvil-shaped head—one spiked, one blunt—to score and crack larger blocks. $46.90, mtckitchen.com
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