January 6, 2011

proof whisky, ice age 2011, Vol. 14

Happy 2011! Let’s start the new decade off right with a fun whisky recipe. Think of all the times you were told not to eat yellow snow. Well, sorry mom but we are encouraging our readers to do just that with today’s Thursty Thursday Snow Cone. Snow cones in January – why not? We will be buried in it for the next couple of months, so let's try to have a little fun with it. Get your brain-freeze on with this week’s yummy chiller, the scrumpdillyicious Yellow Snowball. To learn more about our brand visit www.proofbrands.com. Become a friend on Facebook www.facebook.com/proofbrands and Twitter http://twitter.com/proofbrands to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.

The Yellow Snowball 
(recipe makes 4 snow-cones)
For Syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
4 oz water
2 1/2 oz proof whisky
The zest of a whole lemon
6 mint leaves
In a saucepan add sugar, water and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, simmer for 3-5 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has changed become yellow from the zest. Remove from heat and add the proof whisky. In a heatproof container, with lid, add the 6 mint leaves. (rub between your hands first to release the oils). Pour in the lemon syrup and cool. Place in the fridge overnight. Before serving, strain syrup to remove zest and mint and pour into a dispensing bottle. Drizzle over shaved ice.

If your blender or magic bullet cannot take the wear and tear, we suggest that you call the Ice Man. (www.the-iceman.com) He delivers 18 kg bags of shaved ice. And if you still insist on making it all from scratch (we know your type), you can always pick up a machine and snow cone cups at Coolies (www.coolies.ca) (we do not recommend using snow – hello!!)


Snow-cone Making 101:
It’s super simple. Here’s how it comes together. We used a super-duper snowball maker for ours. (www.sno-baller.com)

All About Ice By Colleen Graham
There are four basic types, or forms, of ice (cube, cracked, shaved and block) and each have their uses. In Imbibe! David Wondrich quotes Jerry Thomas' 19th Century rules for using each, and these are still somewhat relevant in modern mixology. Thomas says: "As a general rule, shave ice should be used when spirits form the principal ingredient of the drink, and no water is employed. When eggs, mild, wine, vermouth, seltzer or other mineral waters are used...it is better to use small lumps of ice..." This is still sound advice but let's break it down for modern ice forms.
Ice Cubes:
Ice cubes are good for almost all mixing: for shaking, stirring, drinks on the rocks, or with juices and sodas. The larger, thicker surface area makes a cube melt slowly and causes less dilution and it is customary to fill a glass or shaker 2/3 full for best results.
Cracked Ice:
Smaller than cubes, cracked ice melts faster and adds more water to drinks. Usually this is used when making frozen drinks because cubes can clog blender blade and be inconsistent in the end. Two-thirds to one cup of cracked ice is perfect for a single frozen Daiquiri or Margarita. Typically bagged ice from the store is cracked.
Shaved Ice:
Crushed or shaved ice is what you typically find in fountain soda machines. This is a very fine ice that can be used in a shaker to produce a thick, slurry of a cocktail. You can also use it to make an "adult snow cone" of sorts by packing shaved ice in a glass (or paper cone if you want to get "authentic") and pouring liqueurs over the top. Spirits like Chambord, PAMA and amaretto are great alone or you can build a custom flavor by combining a few.
Block Ice:
Back in the day all ice bartenders used started as a block and it was up to the individual and their ice tools to create smaller, usable chunks and shavings for mixing. Luckily, we don't have to use picks and shavers anymore. Today blocks are primarily used for chilling party punches and can take any form you want. Rings are popular and there are many novelty molds available but you can also use almost any container you have available as long as you can remove the solid ice.
Ice Ball:
Another large chunk of ice that is becoming more popular is the ice ball, which is commonly used in Japan for serving "whiskey on the rocks.
Making the Best Ice:
Basic science says that ice is water in a solid form and given that, it only stands to reason that cleaner water produces cleaner ice, which will add water to your cocktails in the end. Start off right by freezing water that you would drink: distilled, purified, natural spring or bottled, essentially anything but unfiltered tap water. Keep your ice fresh by rotating the newer and older cubed. Avoid storing it in the freezer near foods like fish or anything else you don't want to taste in your next High Ball.
Making an ice ball:
All you need is a bag of balloons, a place in the freezer to hang them when filled with water, and a night to allow the "teardrop-shaped" ice to freeze. Read more about the technique


TIP: When entertaining, always buy bags of ice at the store. Whatever amount you think you might need – triple it. This is the easiest and best way to keep your drinks fresh and your guests happy. :)


Ice art: We purchased some great ice cube trays, and ice shot glasses around the city. 

By adding various inclusions you can create your own arctic sculptures

These are great cups in which to serve proof whisky shots (proof chillers) and frozen Crimson Cups.


Making an ice bar:
If building a snowman is not your thang, you may want to put your energy into building an ice-bar in your backyard. Your friends will be REALLY impressed if you serve your Yellow Snowballs, proof chillers and frozen Crimson Cups from your frozen canteen. 

You can even offer a Hot Apple Crisp to your less thermally-insulated pals. We served mini-sliders, pulled pork sandwiches and blintzes topped with crème fraiche and smoked salmon. Iced drinks, get your iced-drinks! (if you’re a gadget person check out www.eskimold.com)


Weather Forecast:
Saturday: Scattered flurries and a high of - 3 degrees.
Sunday: Cloudy with sunny breaks and a high of - 4 degrees.

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