Key Concepts

Sources of Water

The American fascination with ice in soft drinks and water is one of the first to strike many visitors to the U.S. Even sparkling water isn't spared this cruel treatment. I may not be able to change the use of ice in soft drinks, but I hope there is a chance of saving bottled water from the same fate. Ice is the natural enemy of bottled water. If you must have it cold, bottled water should be cooled to the proper temperature, without ice.

As ice made from tap water melts, it dilutes the bottled water, water that has been taken from its natural source, bottled with great care, and shipped halfway around the world. There is usually nothing wrong with tap water, but it does not belong in natural bottled water.

Junk Ice

The troubles become apparent if you look closely at how the ice is produced, stored, and handled in the hospitality industry. For example, a bottle of water is usually opened at the table, but you have no idea who handled your ice and how long it has been sitting around in an open container. You also have no idea what the water source of the ice is. Sometimes, this junk ice is crushed very small, so it melts fast and dilutes drinks far too quickly.

Fine Ice

The solution to the problem is to take control of your ice's supply chain. Sounds complicated, right? It's straightforward: do it yourself (DIY) or use a source you trust. At home, fill your ice cube tray with the bottled water you plan to use. This makes the ice cubes a little bit more expensive, but it is worth the cost. Choose these cubes if you must have ice in your water or use them to make cocktails. For example, you may have spent a fortune on the latest and greatest vodka for your martini, but then you use ice cubes made of tap water to mix the drink. Try freezing high-end water with a neutral pH and a low TDS in some designer ice cube trays.

The taste will be improved, and your guests will be impressed. Ice cubes do shrink in their trays, especially in frost-free refrigerators, which are often very dry — about 20 percent relative humidity. The evaporation phenomenon is called sublimation. Fill the tray right to the top to minimize its effects. Ice is an integral part of cocktails and mixed drinks and should be considered an essential part of the drink.

Here is the recipe for the FineWaters Martini, a straightforward solution to create the perfect dry martini, neither shaken nor stirred as it is produced without ice. All you have to remember is 5:1.

  • 500ml premium vodka
  • 100ml Super Low minerality water (icebergs, rain, ...)
  • Lemon twist

Combine vodka and water in a water/vodka bottle and put in the freezer. Don't worry, due to the alcohol content, it won't freeze. When your guests arrive, pour in a martini glass ice cold straight out of the freezer and add a lemon twist. The super-cold cocktail has a great silky texture as you cannot reach those temperatures with shaking or mixing. It has a super clean and crisp taste, and you can serve many guests efficiently with an exciting high-quality cocktail.