Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Video Spotlight: Ice, The Megalith, and The American Cocktail

Heizer's megalith boulder at it's former home in Riverside, CA
Los Angeles is atwitter with the news of a 340 ton boulder slowly making it's way through LA County. "Levitated Mass" is artist Michael Heizer's new (obviously permanent) instillation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The centerpiece of Heizer's work is the largest megalith boulder to be moved in modern times. This modern day Stonehenge has gotten so much press that it's got it's own twitter account (@LACMA Rock)! All this talk about rocks got me thinking about the most popular rocks, those in our cocktails.

It looks strangely like the megalith! 
The history of the American cocktail takes a dramatic turn in the early 1800s with the addition of ice. That solid piece of water is what makes a cocktail a cocktail. It was good ole American ingenuity that took these cold blocks out of the great lakes in the winter, loaded them into bunkers, and sold them to saloons across the country.

Ice is big business in bartending these days and I mean big. Mixologists are moving away from small thin ice cubes in favor of large dense blocks. The density and surface area of these blocks helps the ice melt slowly insuring that your cocktail stays cold but not watered down.

I am pleased to announce that this is the first edition of MiddleBar's Video Spotlight so without further ado, please watch our video above for a quick lesson in creating your own large surface area ice!

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