The science of Ice and cocktail

Ice is essential for humankind for various known purposes. For a bartender, adding ice is more than a show, it’s the science of diluting and cooling the drink. The topic of ice is related to water being chilled to a temperature where it gets frozen. It is naturally a chilling agent.

More than that, it plays a vital role in the dilution of the drink. The perfectly dilution, with optimum cooling will make the best drink. This makes the ice as the most important ingredient in making of cocktail. It is why the bartender usually puts a lot of ice in the drink, to dilute the drink well. Let’s understand the science behind it.

Water when frozen becomes ice but when the temperature changes, then it melts. This basic science when applied to the art of bartending can do wonders. The drinks are often stirred or shaken with ice, thus releasing its chilling energy to its surrounding and getting melted in the process. When the ice releases its energy, it is slowly keeping the ice cool until you finish it. 

The dilution and chilling of drink happens at the same pace. It can either happen by shaking in a shaker or by stirring with a bar spoon. Or after the drinks get poured on the rocks. After dilution, around 15-20 percent of the drink consists of ice. The amount and the size of the ice used matters in a drink. That’s why it is said, more the ice slower is the dilution. But there are factors that affect the process of dilution, it is either stirring or the type of ice used. 

It is important to know, that bartenders usually prefer firm fresh ice that has clarity in its cube. The clarity means the water has been purified. For instance, if you form two ice cubes, one from straight from the tap and boil the water for the second cube. The first ice will be whitish but the one from boiled water will be transparent showing no impurities. 

So, always look out for clear ice cubes. 

At a home bar, while you try to make cocktails you also try to keep it cool. Thus it is a must known fact that stirred drink is less cold than shaken drinks. Once stirred two minutes later, it reach the equilibrium. Why so? It has been understood the faster the drink is shaken, the more it is chilled. 

The first 10sec will get the drink chilled, soon after it reaches the point there is no more chilling or cooling happening. But did you know there are types of ice too? Yes, different drinks have different shapes and sizes of ice. Like using ice spears for long drinks, on rocks usually means one big ice cube and some crushed ice in shakers. 

The ice while making cocktail is best stored in ice box using an ice scooper. These are the basic equipment in the cocktail set. This set can be easily found online but try getting from experienced sellers. It will affect the quality of the products.