At Bradstreet, it's all about the ice
Ice mold. Photo by redgeMD via Flickr
Ice to a bartender is like a stove to a chef says beverage consultant Toby Maloney. Maloney, who works with Alchemy Consulting out of New York, has been working around the clock to launch Graves 601's new cocktail bar and restaurant, Bradstreet, which opened Saturday.
Part of this has meant getting bartenders and staff up to speed on the inner workings of ice. And what, you may ask, do I care about the ice that goes in my drink?
Well! Not only is the type of water important to the quality of final icy product and the drink it complements, but also the temperature it's kept at and, less predictably, the size. Bradstreet features five different types of ice, each suited to specific purposes:
1) Shards - 5" x 1" ice "cylinders" that fit into a column-size drink glass
2) Spheres - 3 1/2"x 3 1/2 inch baseball-size orbs, made with a mold
3) Cold draft - small, perfectly-sized cubes from a machine, used for shaking
4) Crushed - machine-made -- mmm, slushy
5) Cracked - handmade from shards and cold draft, various pieces and sizes
Maloney says shards are best-suited to mixed drinks, those involving juice or soda --think highballs -- whereas the spheres are for anything that you would otherwise have on the rocks, like an Old Fashioned or a margarita.
Bradstreet stores shards and spheres behind the bar at a precise 16 degrees, which means it's not going to water down your drink and can focus all its efforts on cooling it. The restaurant also triple-filters its water, and Maloney recommends home chefs interested in making high-quality drinks make sure and filter their water as well.
Bradstreet stocks spirits from the well-known local importer Haus Alpenz. Here's to cocktails: the new dinner!