The Most Important Ingredient?

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1222701999It’s safe to say that Boston chefs are ingredient-obsessed. You hear about mozzarella di bufala being flown in twice a week from Italy, sushi so fresh it was swimming yesterday, and farmstand veggies just plucked from the dirt.

Boston bartenders, too, have gotten in on the act. With the return of classic cocktails, everything’s fresh-squeezed and muddled to order. (Frankly, methinks most club-type bartenders are sick to death of making mojitos.)

But Drink, uber-chef Barbara Lynch‘s new cocktail-centric venture in Fort Point Channel, is taking things to a whole other level: they’re busting out the gourmet ice.

Yes, apparently some ice is better than most. According to a recent press release, the bar (drinkery?) has a so-called “Ice Program.” Huh. To quote:

Our ice program, the result of years of research on ice’s important role in creating a perfect cocktail, will feature ice from two primary sources: a Kold-Draft machine and crystal clear, fifty pound blocks of ice. From these two sources, bartenders will be able to offer ice in several formats, tailored to suit every type of cocktail.

The Kold-Draft machine, we’re told, produces perfectly clear cubes which melt s-l-o-w-l-y so as not to dilute your bevvies. The 50-pound blocks start as 300-pound blocks, trucked down from Cape Pond Ice in Gloucester, which are then cut at ACME Ice in Cambridge.

It’s the alimentary equivalent of shipping cotton from Egypt to France to be sewn into sheets, which are then sold in New York and L.A.. A little excessive, sure, but damned if we don’t love the results.

And I have to say, I’m rather intrigued. I’ve had my doubts about designer ice before, but knowing that No.9 fixture John Gertsen is behind the bar makes it seem like a worthy endeavor. And I’ll admit that I was a little obsessed myself when I discovered the Big Ice at Marliave recently. (A friend ordered whiskey on the rocks, and it arrived with a giant, slow-melting iceberg of a cube in the center.)

Drink was slated to open at the end of September. We haven’t been yet, but if you have, tell us: was the ice all it’s cracked up to be? (Ha.)

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/2008/09/29/the-most-important-ingredient/