I attended a brief workshop hosted by the Toronto Institute of Bartending . The workshop professed to teach one to make the perfect Caesar. Dana and I were at a food event, it was early in the morning, and we had nothing better to do when the hostess approached us and offered to tickets for the price of $10. We were promised a 90 minute clinic that included food and four or five beverages.
I have long considered a Caesar to be a breakfast drink and how could one go wrong for $10?
I’m not sure that I remember how to make perfect Caesar. But there is one thing that permanently changed in that session for me. And that was simply to do with the amount of ice that I put in a drink or cocktail – I was confused and simply not adding enough.
In a very vivid demonstration our host prepared to drinks one of them had us two or three ice cubes the other had what he called three cubes high. He asked each of us what we thought was the right amount. I knew there had to be a trick but still felt inclined to choose the one with three or four cubes – my rationale, like others, was that less ice meant a stronger, less watered down drink.
Our host pointed out two facts that seem so obvious now.
The first was straightforward. More ice in a glass simply left less room for mix. Less mix means a higher percentage of alcohol per drink. It was shockingly straightforward.
The second part of the demonstration took longer to perform. Our host left two drinks at the front of the room – one with 3 or 4 cubes, the other was piled high with ice.
They sat there for the 90 minutes that we sat and learned things about Caesar’s. It became apparent very quickly that the glass with less ice was not cold enough to retain the ice in its current state. In other words, the glass with fewer ice cubes melted faster. By the end of the presentation the two glasses looked entirely different. One glass had a layer of water floating on the top, with no ice visible in it. The second glass had no layer of water and appeared to have barely melted – there was still plenty of ice in it.
The concept that was being shown to us was a concept called three cubes high. The three cube concept simply refers to the proper amount of ice in a beverage – three cubes over the rim of the glass. This ensures that your beverage stays cold enough not to melt the ice, and avoids watering down your drink.
This is a short lesson but a powerful one I have not forgotten.
I’d love to see your best bar tips in the comments on this post — until then, cheers!