At least in the world of ice cubes and cocktails. Beyond that, to each his own.
I’m a recent convert to jumbo ice cubes. The larger mass of ice keeps the drink colder and melts more slowly than smaller or crushed cubes. Don’t get me wrong, a Mint Julep should always be made with finely crushed ice (I use a snow cone machine) and slowly stirred until the julep cup is terribly frosted. And I fully advocate using smaller cubes when mixing cocktails–their purpose is not only to chill but to moderately dilute the alcohol in the drink: shots, single malt scotches and single barrel bourbons may be imbibed straight, if you choose*, but cocktails require a melding of flavours and a mild dilution to fully realize their complexity.
Some drinks don’t require ice beyond their mixing: a Martini should be served up, with olives, and imbibed before the gin can warm. (See previous post.**) Likewise, the Manhattan, the Gimlet, and, of course, another of my favourite drinks, the honourable Sazerac.
But, in the heat of the long, hot summer, one may prefer to keep one’s drink cold for as long as possible. Therefore, I propose the Sazerock, with all due deference to Fred Flintstone. You will need jumbo ice cubes
Besides the ice, you simply require any other ingredients you choose to put in your Sazerac. My Sazerock is made from Orange and Creole bitters, muddled with sugar and shaken, then strained into and Herbsaint rinsed and jumbo ice-cube filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish it with a flamed lemon peel (a secret I learned at The Lexington Social House.***) Flaming the lemon peel, or any other citrus peel you choose to use as a garnish, releases the citrus oils, and, it’s quite a fun bonus for the budding pyromaniac. To flame a lemon peel, use a vegetable peeler to peel off a 1″ x 1/2″ piece of lemon peel, catching as little of the white of the peel as possible. Hold it to a lit match or lighter (to gild the lily, dip it in alcohol first) briefly, until oils are released.
Though I generally do not approve of altering cocktails from the way they’re meant to be imbibed, when I do it, it’s all right. Plus, this isn’t a Sazerac, it’s a Sazerock. Get yourself outside two or three of these, and you’re bound to have a gay old time.
*As an American, I like large sandwiches, and most drinks iced.
**Scott Would be Proud
***Lexington Social House, 1718 Vine St, Hollywood, CA 90028. Go for Happy Hour, when their hand crafted cocktails are $7. The Teacher’s Pet is delightful, and it’s a movie with Clark Gable, too. They get a good scald on their fried chicken, but the bread pudding is a little dry.