01 Nov 2014

Latest Hipster Atrocity: Artisanal Ice

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artisanal-ice

The Washington City Paper notes another watershed mark of decadent hipster self-indulgence.

A Manhattan will set you back $14 at forthcoming downtown restaurant and bar Second State. Want it on the rocks? That will be a dollar more—for a total of $15.

The Pennsylvania-themed spot, which is set to open in the former Mighty Pint space at 1831 M St. NW on Oct. 21, will be the first place in D.C. with an ice surcharge listed on its cocktail menu. (Most bars eat the cost or build it into the price of the drink.) Granted, these are no freezer-burned, generic tray cubes. This is the fancy, unclouded artisanal stuff from D.C.’s boutique ice company, Favourite Ice, founded by local bartenders Owen Thomson and Joseph Ambrose. Second State bartenders will chip off the eight corners for a more spherical shape that sits in the glass like an iceberg.

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Mother Jones reports that ice cube connoisseurship is actually already a national fad (and the green-on-the-outside-pink-on-the-inside left is all in a dither about its environmental impact).

Yes, artisanal ice is now a thing. In hipster meccas from Portland to Williamsburg, bars are serving up their drinks on extra-dense, extra-clear cubes, produced through a laborious process of freezing and carving. Cocktail connoisseurs swear the difference in flavor is worth the extra effort: In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing, the cubes’ density and relatively large size mean they melt more slowly and dilute your drink less. …

Demand for artisanal ice grew out of the past decade’s “cocktail renaissance”—the rise of small-batch liquor producers, the rediscovery of pre-Prohibition recipes, and an increasing emphasis on fresh, homemade ingredients. …

[Artisanal ice is made] in a special type of freezer called a Clinebell machine—the same device that ice sculptors use to form the blocks they carve into statues for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Most freezers chill water from the top down, which traps air bubbles under the upper layer of ice and leads to a cloudy cube. Clinebells cool from the bottom up, circulating the top layer of water to get rid of bubbles until it’s all frozen. Every three days, the machine spits out two 300-pound, crystal-clear chunks of ice, which [the specialist dealer] then break down with saws and deliver to clients around the city.

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Die Hipster grumbles:

Is this the end? The end of the hipster and the new beginning for normal people? I doubt it but its wishful thinking. One would think that when a couple of douchebag ****** ******* hipsters decide to charge people extra for “artisanal” ice in their drinks, that we’ve hit rock bottom and things are sure to get better. May lightning strike these ******* ***********.

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One Feedback on "Latest Hipster Atrocity: Artisanal Ice"

Andrew B

I would sooner give up drinking than pay some frustrated Philosophy major an extra dollar to put some frozen water in my Old Fashioned. To Hell with all of these hipster bastards and their stupid, worthless, pathetic trends. Roman emperors could enjoy ice cubes in their drinks 2000 years ago, for the love of Christ. It will be artisanal air next, with some emaciated, bearded ballerina telling me that it will be an additional $5 to inhale.



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