Ice, Ice, Baby. Alright, stop, collaborate and listen: things are about to cool down here at Beefeater, and we don’t mean figuratively. As we enter our chilly era, it’s time you got the lowdown on all things icy.

Read on to find out whether or not gin’s better with ice – and how to drink it.

 

IS GIN BETTER WITH ICE?

In short: yes! Almost all cocktails will require ice at some stage – whether to chill the ingredients before they even hit your glass, to shake or stir with, or to keep nice and refreshing while you sip. And the same goes for gin drinks. Whether sipping neat or in a Gin and Tonic, ice can actually improve your cocktail by toning down the alcoholic burn and elevating the botanicals’ flavour.

 

will ADDING ice make my drink less strong?

In some cases the answer is yes, and this is usually intentional. For drinks with a high ABV, the ice will help soften the spirit. However, ice doesn’t necessarily mean dilution.

It might seem counterintuitive, but adding lots of ice can actually slow down dilution. This is because ice keeps ice cold – meaning it melts much more slowly. 

 

How much ice DO I NEED IN MY DRINK?

It really depends on the cocktail. But for the most part, the more the merrier. A negroni will usually call for one large ice cube, but our G&Ts are best full of ice.

 

Other cocktails, like a dry martini are best with no ice at all, but instead require loads of ice when shaking or stirring to achieve the right level of chilling and diluting.

 

Ice in a G&T: just nice or needed?

We will always recommend loads of ice for a Beefeater and tonic. Imagine a warm gin and tonic… it’s not pretty. Ice keeps your G&T colder for longer and causes dilution which is needed for balance.

 

So really it should be called G&T&I, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

 

WHAT KIND OF ICE SHOULD I USE?

Depending on the cocktail, you may require a specific ice. This could be because ice has two very important roles to play: chilling and diluting. 

 

Cocktails like a bramble call for crushed ice as we want to dilute the strong alcohol, whereas a negroni will need a large ice cube to slow down dilution and chill the liquid.

 

So, big ice = slow dilution, small ice = fast dilution, and most importantly using the correct ice = a better cocktail.

 

WHAT DO I USE ICE FOR IN MY DRINK?

We’ve pulled together this cheat sheet for all your cocktail icing needs.

ICE
ROLE
DRINK
Standard square cubes To keep a long drink cold G&T, Collins
One big ice block To keep a drink ice cold with less dilution Negroni
Crushed ice To quickly dilute a high ABV cocktail Bramble
Ice during shaking To chill and dilute the ingredients Gimlet, White Lady
Frozen ingredients To add viscosity Martini
Blended Ice To create a ‘slushy’ effect Ginita, Frose

HOW CAN I CUSTOMISE MY ICE?

There are many different ways to take your ice to the next level.

 

ICE MOULDS

Using ice moulds is an easy way to up your cocktail game. From hearts and butterflies, to classy spheres and large cubes, ice moulds are fairly easy to get your hands on. 

FROZEN GLASSWARE

Rather than using bought or homemade ice from a mould, carefully freeze water directly into your cocktail glass by placing it in the freezer with the botom quarter (or fifth!) filled with water. If you are able to keep your glass at an angle in the freezer, you will achieve a fun ‘sloping’ effect on your ice. This works great for short, high ABV cocktails like a negroni or a gimlet.

frozen garnishes

Instead of putting a fresh lemon slice in your glass, freeze it!

 

LARGE GARNISHES: Oranges, lemons, strawberries

  • Slice into wheels, halves, or quarters
  • Freeze in a clean freezer-safe container or bag
  • Use a sheet of baking paper, foil, or plastic wrap to separate out each garnish and prevent them from sticking

 

SMALL GARNISHES: Berries, pomegranate seeds, diced fruit, edible flowers

This works best with larger ice moulds!

  • Place your garish in he bottom half of your ice mould
  • Top up your ice mould with water
  • Freeze as normal!

Check our ultimate guide to garnishes out here.

 

OK, I hear what you’re saying, BUT CAN I DRINK GIN WITHOUT ICE?

At the end of the day, you can absolutely do what you like! However, this will not result in more alcohol, and you will also have a room temperature drink in your hands. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 

 

WHAT CAN I REPLACE ICE WITH IN MY COCKTAIL?

Run out of ice? You have two other options!

 

  1. One: add other frozen elements, like frozen garnishes or reusable ‘ice’ cubes.
  2. Two: Freeze other elements, like your glassware or even your gin.

 

Be aware that these solutions won’t give you any dilution, bu it should keep the drink chilled for longer.

 

Can you freeze gin?

Absolutely you can! You can freeze any gin that is 40% ABV and above. Gins, including flavoured and liqueurs, that have a lower ABV may partially freeze creating a type of gin slush. 

Because our flavoured gins and spirit drinks are 37.5% ABV, we recommend you chill them in a fridge rather than a freezer. This will brighten up the flavours and bring out the sweeter notes.

Find out more about how to store gin.

Can you put glassware in the freezer?

Definitely! Putting room temperature glasses in the fridge or freezer is a great idea to keep your cocktail chilled for longer. 

 

Some cocktails are worth freezing for:

Chill your Beefeater in the freezer to make these cocktails a ten out of ten.

 

Frozen Cocktails

You’ve probably already heard about frozen margaritas and frozen daiquiris, but did you know you can also make frozen gin cocktails? 

 

Let us introduce you to a couple friends of ours. 

 

The Ginita is a zestier, cooler (literally) version of a Beefeater and Tonic. Plus you can make it with all your favourite Beefeater gins: try our Pink Ginita! Thank us later.

 

After trying our Peach Frose once, it will be the only kind of slushie you make. Packed with peach and raspberry, it’s refreshing and very easy to make!

 

Get more guides on drinking gin including the best gin garnishes, top gin mixers and easiest gin cocktails to make at home.

 

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