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Prog Rocks

Cooling your cocktail just got complicated

Author Amber Gibson

fooddrink2

Ice cubes made of water? How pedestrian. Forward-thinking mixologists these days are making ice cubes out of everything from coconut water to coffee to enhance cocktails instead of watering them down. At San Francisco’s Prospect restaurant, cloves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and allspice berries are frozen with a star anise pod in a block to spice up rum on the rocks. At TWO Restaurant and Bar in Chicago, mixologist Graham Crowe freezes housemade beer syrup, orange bitters and an orange peel to make the Bay Street, a cocktail named after Toronto’s financial district. Because it contains alcohol, the ice sets up a little bit softer and dissolves more quickly, Crowe says, which allows it to change the flavor of your drink while you drink it.

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The Bay Street

IPA Beer Syrup

  • Une Année Maya Belgian IPA (or any Belgian IPA)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


1. To make the beer syrup, pour one part beer and one part sugar back and forth between two containers, until sugar is dissolved and carbonation is dissipated.

IPA Beer Cube

  • IPA beer syrup
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • Round slices of orange peel
  • Water


2. To make ice, combine two parts syrup and one part water, add three dashes of orange bitters and pour into ice molds. Add one round orange peel per mold and allow to freeze.

Bay Street Cocktail

  • 2 oz Templeton rye whiskey
  • 1/4 oz Bitter Truth E**X**R herbal liqueur
  • 1/2 oz IPA beer syrup


3. To make cocktail, stir rye, E**X**R and IPA beer syrup over regular ice until sufficiently chilled. Strain over an IPA beer cube into a chilled glass and serve.

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