As the temperature rises, I find my behavior changing in two distinct ways. First, I avoid being outside of air-conditioned buildings between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m., and second, I begin to add lots of ice to my bourbon. Being somewhat of an ice snob, I have various sizes and shapes of ice on hand to assist in my beverage cooling. However this year’s heat had me wanting something a little more all-purpose so that my freezer doesn’t take on that dreaded bachelor look (ie, two half-eaten pints of ice cream, a frozen pizza, two T-bone steaks, and four sizes of ice cubes and a couple of ice spheres). On a recent rummage through some of the upper cabinets in the Test Kitchen, I found a piece of nostalgia that will give my Maker’s 46 the classic summer cool it needs and some much needed freezer space.
This Don Draper-era ice-cube tray is kind of a must-have in the summer. It’s not the most practical tray as it doesn’t stack well, but it creates the most pleasing sound of refreshment as you yank back on the handle and free the ice from its confined spaces. The cubes layer in a glass so well, thanks to the slightly askew angle the metal holder creates, and gives you the look of someone who may hold the secret to keeping drinks at the perfect temperature. My recommendation is to try and find one at a thrift store, your grandparents’ house, or a garage sale; then add some filtered water to the fill line and slide in the freezer. Eight hours later, you’ll be relaxing with an ice-cold drink that tastes and looks cool, well, until it melts.
DJ Grand Royal’s Early Summer Cocktail Playlist: