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Cracked vs Crushed Ice

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by Camper English

When making the Tiki drinks in FC#106, don’t overlook the ice—it’s not just for cooling. Much as a splash of water opens up the flavor of a single-malt whiskey, water from the melting ice tames the high proportion of rum typical of a tiki drink—in a good way. Tiki drinks call for cracked or crushed ice instead of cubes because the smaller the ice, the faster it melts.

Cracked ice (used in the Chi Chi Pache) is smaller than cubes, about the size of big pebbles. Crushed ice (used in the Barbary Swizzle and Lift-Off!) is even smaller, like the ice in a snow cone. Crushed ice provides texture, too, making a thick, slow-sipping, slurry-like drink.

You may find bagged cracked ice at the store, but you can also make your own. Wrap ice cubes in a clean lint-free towel and whack with a muddler, meat mallet, or even the bottom of a small skillet. (There are also small hand-cranked plastic ice crushers made for this task.) To make crushed ice, continue whacking until all the big chunks are gone.

Visit the Drinks & Entertaining page for more fun summer drink recipes.

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