D.C. is now a market for luxury ice. It might not the world’s most expensive ice cube, but you’ll still have to pay for it. That’s right: Artisanal ice is a thing. The restaurant called Second State will charge $1 per “hand-cut rock” if you order from its whiskey menu. (If you order one of the cocktails, which range from $11 to $17, the fancy cubes are included gratis.) “It’s worth it,” the manager Phil Clark says. “When it goes into a cocktail, it’s crystal clear. It’s purified water, so there’s no minerally taste.”
Second State is purchasing the cubes from Favorite Ice, (the company that’s hand-chiseling frozen water for about 30 restaurants and caterers in the D.C. area), which claims that the super-special artisanal ice is crystal clear and melts at a slower pace.
Joe Ambrose, the owner of Favorite Ice says that many bars have begun to use the superior ice to justify their already high-priced cocktails. After all, no one wants their $20 finger of whiskey to not taste like whiskey.
“The problem with lots of small ice cubes is that in 10 to 15 minutes, your drink tastes like watered-down booze – it doesn’t taste how its supposed to taste anymore,” he says.