The Correct Ammout of Ice for a Cocktail

I was recently on a flight— I am always "recently on a flight" but I thought I should start out that way.  I was recently on a flight with Alaska Air, the last airline with dignity and ordered a Sun Liquor Hedge Trimmer gin & tonic.  I asked for a "little less tonic," knowing that the glasses are huge, the flight attendant gave me a flirtatious wink and he returned to me with a double gin & splash of tonic.  The G&T that Brain made was highly functional, the "secret botanicals" of Hedge Trimmer really came through but the cocktail was only OK.  The problem wasn't Brian's heavy hand with the gin (winking back at you Brian) it was with the light hand on the ice.

To put it simply:

If ice is floating in the glass, there isn't enough ice in the glass.

To better explain that idea, here is a video that I shot on the plane after my 2nd cocktail, to better explain the idea for floating ice vs ice resting at the bottom of a glass. Video: getting TSA pre-check status revoked. 

The proper way to make a highball, a long drink, or a drink that has ice in it, is to first fill the glass completely with ice.  That is what dictates how much "cocktail" you can actually fit into the glass.  Failure to follow lighted placards and ice safety rules with result in a drink that is watery, warm and purely functional rather than enjoyable.  Please follow along with the Ice Safety Card located in the seat-back pocket in front of you.

how much ice do you put in a cocktail

Rocks Glass

You will notice that when using a "BFC" in a rocks glass, if the "BFC" floats, then the "BFC" may indeed be a "Cube" but it is not "BIG FUCKING" enough.  A "BFC" that floats, is hardly a "BC" at all.  A true BIG FUCKING CUBE will rest at the bottom of a glass that it just barely fits into, and the cocktail or spirit will be poured around it.  The same is true for smaller cubes in a rocks glass, there must be enough of them for the spirit to rest around the cubes.


Red Solo Cup

When making cocktails in a plastic cup, you are already at a quality deficit.  You are likely at a BBQ thrown by a young person, perhaps someone's starter home, the ice is from a gas station, and it is only the asshole that says "hey, can I get this in glass?"  Let's make the best of this: don't skimp on the gas station ice.  In fact, bring a bag of ice to a BBQ, just show up with it the same way you'd put on pants.  So use as much ice as you'd like, but then pour in a punch to match.  Don't pour 17oz of hooch and then add 2 cubes.  But the real pro tip? Red cups are for beer. Bring a flask for your whiskey.


Julep Cup

The julep cup is made for crushed ice.  That said, same rules apply: more ice, less cocktail.  After smashing up fine ice in your lewis bag, you will find it difficult to put more than 3oz of cocktail in a 12 oz cup.  Too little ice? It will melt immediately. Floating ice? The cocktail will be cold, but will spill over the edge at every sip, leaking like the faucet in your 1st apartment.  When making a julep, leave up to 1 inch for just ice at the top of the cup.  This will also hold your aromatic garnish in place.  The aromatic garnish on the julep is very important because ice doesn't have an aroma.  If your ice has an aroma, you are either in the first schizophrenic stages of olfactory hallucinations and should see a Dr immediately or you need to replace your water filter.



Ice is made from water.  Water falls from the sky.

Don't skimp on ice.