The point of ice in your cocktail is to make it cold, right? Yes and no.

Obviously, ice does lower the temperature of your cocktail, but it also does other things: enhances certain flavors while masking others (handy if you’re drinking less than stellar booze or wine). As Simon Rich points out, “If a gin or vodka travels to Iceland for its pure water source and you throw a seven-month-old burnt cloudy ice cube that was stuck to a packet of frozen peas in your drink, you just negated the trouble they went through.”

In other words, once that ice cube melts and dilutes your drink, those flavors… more


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