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Bar ice must be clean, fresh, and flavorless. A nice rule of thumb for parties is that you always need more ice than you have. Buy or make extra.

In cocktails, ice goes in the cocktail glass first. That way the drinks get cooled on the way without any unnecessary splashing. Ice can be crushed, shaved, cracked, or cubed, depending on the drink. If you can store only one kind of ice, buy cubes. Most highballs, old-fashioneds, and on-the-rocks drinks call for ice cubes. Use cracked or cubed ice for stirring and shaking, crushed or shaved ice for special tall drinks, frappes, and other drinks that will be sipped through a straw. Both manual and electric ice crushers are available, but you can easily make your own crushed version by putting cubes in a tightly closed plastic bag, wrapping the bag in a towel, and smashing the ice with a rolling pin or hammer. Since cubed ice is the most readily available, particularly to home bartenders, it can be used in almost all mixed drink recipes unless otherwise specified.

The Basic Bar index...or on to How to Chill a Glass

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