An easy way to make clear ice for drinks

If you've ever looked into making clear ice for drinks, you know that there are all sorts of assertions about needing to boil the water first, or using filtered water, or you need a special clear ice maker.

According to Nick, the Cocktail Chemist, in this video, all you need is a small 6-pack cooler with the lid removed.

Thanks to directional freezing, all of the impurities (clouding, bubbles) will settle to the bottom of the open cooler as you freeze it and the top section of the resulting ice block will be clear. You then simply remove the block and cut off the bottom part to have a clear block of ice remaining.

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My friends have a new line of craft cocktail syrups

My longtime friend Jared Hirsch (previously) is an amazing mixologist (or as he humorously describes himself, a "cocktologist"). As a popular bartender at Sidebar in Oakland, he's always mixing up something new and creative for their menu.

Now, with his business partner Absinthia, he's crowdfunding a new line of craft cocktail syrups. They did this once before with great success three years ago. Their Caged Heat syrup hit its goal in just seven days. This time they're rolling out three new flavors: Crimson Smoke, Cherry Bomb, and Fairy Dust (which is like an alcohol-free absinthe). Check all of them out over at Kickstarter. Read the rest

Home Bartending: Celebrate July 4th with these 1776-era cocktails

Although the word "cocktail" wasn't coined until the 1800s, mixed drinks were all the rage when America got its independence. Many were made with rum or whiskey, and punch was the term du jour. Both refreshing and timeless, why not toast the weekend with these 3 smashing cocktails of yesteryear? Read the rest