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Fancy ice is a hot trend at St. Louis-area bars

8:50 AM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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By Dana Dean

Kirkwood, Mo (KSDK) -- The latest trend at cocktail bars has people asking, "What's in my drink?"

There are no signs of cooling down at Ice Visions in Kirkwood where David Van Camp constantly carving out his niche.

You can bet he's been asked to make every kind of ice sculpture under the sun. But when a customer called, wanting custom cut ice cubes, it knocked him off his block.

"Never planned on ice cubes," Van Camp said.

The growing interest in high-end ice is all thanks to a trend stirred by the 'Craft Cocktail Movement.'

"Twenty-five to 30-percent of your drink is water from ice, so you want it to be good," Ted Kilgore said.

Behind the doors of Central West End's high-end cocktail bar, Taste, is a liquid scientist with a solid obsession.

Ted Kilgore carries three kinds of specially-made cubes behind the bar.

"People didn't understand it. They were wondering what all this ice was doing taking up space in their drink. But now they come in, 'Can I see your ice?' It's a conversation piece," said Kilgore.

And Kilgore can talk about ice because it's not just frozen H20, it's a frozen asset, part of the equation to the perfectly crafted cocktail.

"I actually did the math. It's a 2.5 inch by 2 inch cylinder that directly suits a drink that has 5 to 6 ounces. So it's going to give it an approximate chill for that amount of cocktail."

The trend has even trickled down to the retail level.

Kitchen Conservatory in Clayton sells molds for trendy ice making at home. You can buy square or sphere shaped trays, if you can find them on the shelves.

Hilda Willman, Kitchen Conservatory store manager, said, "We've sold out and in fact the manufacturer is back ordered on them because they've been so popular."

So whether it's in the cocktail lounge or at home, ice is hot.



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