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As cocktails increasingly become their own party-friendly art form, bartenders are striving to take their creations to a next, extraneous level by moving away from basic mixing into inspired chemistry creations. The frontier of basic drink experimentation used to be spending $4 on a bottle of Italian cola to add a punch of class, but recently bartenders at home and in booze emporiums are pushing forward with some ice-y innovation.
Yamandu Perez at TWO in NYC is one of the aforementioned pioneers and the creator of his very own version of Starbucks mocha Frappuccino. Despite no one anywhere calling for more access to them. The new drink is a white chocolate mix, with coffee ice cube, khalu and vodka, so admittedly an improvement on the original. The real magic though is the ice cube – it’s not just frozen coffee, but also contains secret spices melted into syrup. The mix is then shaken until it froths before finally being poured over the cube, creating a drink that’s reminiscent of both a morning coffee and after dinner sweet. Finally answering the age-old-question: What cocktail should I have for breakfast?
Jisoo Chon at Shangai Terrace continues the ice magic trend with his floral signature, "We pinpointed three flowers that are very famous for symbolic reasons, and married them with specific cocktails." The flowers are transformed into chrysanthemum ice cubes which are added to a to a blue curacao, coconut rum, orange and pineapple juice cocktail. Perfect for anyone who can actually name three types of flowers. Said flowers represent a worry free lifestyle that seems fitting to how the drink is served. As the cubes melt the aroma on the flowers infiltrates the drinks that are served in a bottle containing two cocktails. Chon explains, "As you're enjoying the second cocktail, at the end portion of it, especially if you're out on the terrace, the ice will completely melt so that the actual flower will be exposed and you get a stronger flavour of the flower." After all no one being presented with a double cocktail could have any worries.
If this sounds like your style, but you’re not really looking to splash out on a cocktail holiday soon, you can try some simpler interpretations of this ice art at home.
Lemonade and Raspberry Ice
Dissolve sugar in warm water. Stir in lemon juice. Divide fresh raspberries into an ice-cube tray. Place a sprig of mint in each cube. Add lemonade and freeze.