The Conversation

Hot Ice

First came artisanal vodkas, then homemade bitters and tinctures. Now the latest trend in cocktail lounges is hand-cut ice. New York City's Double Seven bar employs one person six hours a day to cut one-and-a-quarter-inch cubes from an ice block using a pick and an ice saw. Co-owner Will Regan explains:

"Ice machines produce ice that has a crescent or cylindrical shape which melts quickly. Our cubes are solid—no dimples—and fit neatly into the glass and don't melt as fast. If you order a Scotch on the rocks, you'll get this block of ice in a crystal rocks glass. By the time you reach the bottom of the drink, the last sip will taste the same as your first."