Cocktail culture is being irreparably damaged by an over-reliance on ice, with ‘global chilling’ threatening many drinks with extinction, experts have warned.
Professor Mick Norgan from the Institute of Bar Studies (IBS) says the bar-world’s obsession with stuffing illogically vast amounts of frozen water into cocktails has already created significant damage to drinks all over the world – and the problem is getting worse.
‘We need a total reset if global chilling isn’t to be irreversible,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘And bartenders need to start asking themselves tough questions.
‘Such as whether it’s ok for a Negroni to be 95% ice, and why in God’s name you’d want to put something the size of a tennis ball in a glass of whisky.’
Ice can just do one
According to Norgan’s recent report – ‘Ice – and why it can just fuck right off’ – the use of frozen water has increased massively over the last 30 years.
‘Cocktails are already several degrees colder than they used to be 100 years ago,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘And the process is accelerating.’
Bartending, he said, was ‘reaching a tipping point.
‘Specifically, a point after which no-one will leave them tips.’
No longer drinkable
Norgan’s research shows that five of the coldest ever years for cocktails have come in the last decade, and cocktail climatologists fear that, if the trend continues a growing number of cocktails could soon be unrecognisable.
‘Early predictions were that this would happen by the start of the next century,’ said Professor Norgan, ‘but in fact we’re looking at much sooner than that.
‘Probably about next Friday.’
‘Bars are a delicate ecosystem, where ego, alcohol and garnish have co-existed for millennia,’ said whisky writer Dave Brush. ‘If just one of those things gets out of balance then the entire environment can be threatened.’
Naturalists warn that classic creatures such as the lunchtime-drinking journalist and the pissy PR are having to move further and further downmarket in search of an ice-free environment and could soon run out of watering holes altogether.
‘With their colourful opinions and characteristic squawking it would be a tragedy if these distinctive beasts disappeared,’ said Norgan.
‘Though on reflection we could probably live without the journalists.’
Bars all over the world are already looking at alternative ways of cooling drinks down.
The team at Hairy’s Bar in Venice are using lukewarm reviews to lower the temperature of their immensely overpriced Bellinis.
While the Unamerican Bar at the Savoy says it has had ‘encouraging’ results cooling glasses for its famous Martinis by harnessing the chill wind of reality blowing through the hospitality sector.
Click here to read about the new trend for Apocalypse Bars.