I'd never found a good way to make crushed ice at home. Pound the cubes in a dish towel? They fly out and what’s left sticks to the fibers. Put 'em in a Ziploc? It tears. The thrift shop '50s era crank ice grinder was awkward to use, hard to turn and yielded very little product. There had to be a better way.
And there was.
The solution arrived in the form of an essential piece of 19th century barroom gear, the Lewis Bag.
It’s a strongly stitched canvas bag with a wooden mallet. Drop in the cubes, fold over the top and whack away. Perfect crushed ice in no time. The smooth canvas won't allow any of the shards to stick and wicks away moisture for “drier” ice. I love this thing.
Now that I had easy crushed ice, I invented (as far as I know) a drink for it. I make it with a delicious ginger liqueur from Hawk’s Prairie’s Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs.
I freely admit that, as Nancy Leson points out, I know next to nothing about mixology, but this works well for me.
Stein’s Ginger Jolly Roger (makes two)
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz lime juice
3 oz Ginger Liqueur
Sprigs of mint
Muddle mint in syrup. Add lime juice and liqueur. Pour mixture over crushed ice in Collins glass. Top with seltzer. Garnish with lime slice and/or mint sprig.
Other uses for crushed ice at home include any cold drink, homemade Sno-Cones, and to make the bed for a platter of oysters.
Turning to the many forms of ice available today, Nancy’s trying frozen wine cubes. “Let’s say you pull a rosé and it’s warm. Instead of putting an ice cube in it you can put in a rosé cube. Or you need a little bit of wine for a recipe. It’s perfect.” Full disclosure: After one trial, Leson is reporting mixed results. White wine seems to freeze better than red.
Nance also found a YouTube video on how to make the clearest, and coolest shaped ice at home.
And since we're having this week's Food for Thought on the rocks...
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.” – Dorothy Parker