Bar, cocktail, and spirits culture is a funny thing. Everyone thinks they’re an expert. But very, very few really are. There are endless myths about absinthe, beer, and whisky that are taken as fact. People have been taking advantage of the general public’s misinformation for eons. It’s probably the second oldest profession.
Enter Jason Sherman. He’s the dude behind America’s incarnation of the liquid nitrogen ice cream craze. Recently, Sherman has been focusing on making whiskey ice cubes to protect your whiskey from that evil, evil water. The idea is that this will save your whiskey from dilution and add alcohol to your glass. Extra alcohol you’ll obviously have to pay extra for. Sherman thinks people want their whiskey ice cold, but don’t want to ruin it with too much ice. Fair enough, but you could also put the bottle in the freezer to chill it.
*Pushes up glasses, straightens invisible cuffs on shirt, steps onto a soap box.*
Water is an essential ingredient in making cocktails, making long drinks, and serving whisky. If ice is handled properly, over-dilution is never an issue for cocktails. In fact, it’s chemically essential. When it comes to whiskey, adding water allows the aromas and fatty substances to bloom. I’m not talking a lot of water here. Just a few drops. And those few drops can come from a single, deep frozen ice cube. If you’re on the whiskey trail in Scotland, you’ll be shown how to drink and enjoy whiskey. Adding water via a pipette is the only way it’s done. Not everyone has a pipette laying around. So use a spoon, or ice. Whiskey is meant to be smelled, watered, and then drank. Because water always releases its aromas. We taste whiskey via orthonasale and retronasal olfaction. That’s fancy doctor-talk for we smell it and drink it and those two sensory inputs combine into a final product in our brains.
What we have here is a $7,999 attempt to take advantage of people’s misinformation. Yes, his liquor freezing device costs eight grand. It also only makes four cubes at a time. Sherman has aspirations to make this another home appliance. His plan is to make a Keurig type device for your counter with single use pods.
Fun fact, the waste from the plastic and non-degradable coffee pods people used just last year can stretch around the globe at the equator 10 times. And people wonder why that plastic island in the Pacific went from the size of Texas to the size of the entire United States. John Sylvan, Keurig inventor, regrets ever having invented the device. That puts him right up there with Mikhail Kalashnikov for inventors who want to take their inventions back.
Do we need another countertop kitchen device that takes single-serving pods? Don’t we have enough plastic destroying our oceans? Oh, won’t someone please think of the children!
*Stumbles down from soap box.*
Well, absinthe never killed anyone or caused them to hallucinate — that was just Temperance Movement propaganda. American Budweiser is truly the worst lager in the world — but it’s still beer. And even if you drink whiskey neat — it still needs water to bloom. That’s the point.
(Via New York Magazine)