Bitters Ice Cubes – MxMo

Vanilla Old Fashioned

Doug’s MxMo Round Up is posted, and it’s intense!

MxMo is being hosted by Doug over at The Pegu Blog and the theme is “made from scratch”. No doubt there will be homemade syrups, infusions, spirits, genies, red bull cotton candy, and other various elixers, so to be different, I decided to make my own ice.

My quest began at the top of Tussey Mountain, where I collected the winter’s first snow. Knowing the snow would melt as I descended the mountain, I brought along a cooler filled with dry ice to keep the snow at the optimum temperature. Returning home, I quickly packed the snow into ice cube trays and put them in the freezer at -8F. The next day, I was in for a surprise. Before I go further howerver, I’ll let you know that the above tale is a complete falsehood. My editor’s have cut the rest of the story and suggested I move onto to the real content of the post…

What I actually did was make five types of bitters cubes (using filtered tap water): Peychaud, Fee’s orange, Angostura, The Bitter Truth Celery, and Fee’s Whiskey Barrel-aged. Each cube of water contains about 3 dashes of bitters. My hope was the the ice cube would melt slowly and gradually donate its bitters to the cocktail, making each sip a slightly different experience.

Inspired by a recent discussion argument about Old Fashioneds on the Mixoloseum blog, I wanted to put my word in and confuse the mix. So I’ve created a non-fruit Old Fashioned with vanilla syrup.

Vanilla Old Fashioned

  • 2oz rye whiskey
  • 1/4oz vanilla syrup
  • Whiskey Barrel-aged bitters ice cube
  • vanilla bean, for garnish

Stir the whiskey and vanilla syrup with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Drop in the bitters ice cube and lay a vanilla bean on top.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

As you sip, you’re met with the wonderful aroma and taste of vanilla, which is strong at first, but as the bitters begin to permeate the cocktail, hints of clove and warmth mix in. It’s delightful.

I couldn’t pass up trying my Peychaud bitters cubes in a Sazerac! Shudder in horror at the modified recipe I used:


  • 1 1/2oz rye whiskey (used (ri)1)
  • 1/2oz cognac (used Salignac)
  • 1/4oz turbinado simple syrup
  • lemon twist, for garnish
  • absinthe, to rinse glass (used Kubler)
  • Peychaud bitters ice cube

You know what to do.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

As the ice cube melted it slowly added more and more Peychaud to the drink. The first tastes were mellow and by the end you had an over-the-top sazerac. I must admit, I sucked on the remnants of the Peychaud ice cube after the drink was gone…

KP Question

  • What other drinks do you think these bitters ice cubes would work in?

5 Responses to “Bitters Ice Cubes – MxMo”

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5 Comments to “ Bitters Ice Cubes – MxMo”
  1. Your editors need to go off and suck on some of your ice. I want to hear about Tussey Mountain, dammit!

  2. tiareNo Gravatar says:

    This would probably work in most drinks that calls for bitters and ice.

    That piece of ice in the pic looks soo deliscious..

  3. Jay HepburnNo Gravatar says:

    Last time I was at the Dorchester Hotel Bar one of the bartenders, Stefano Cossio, showed me a similar trick he was playing with – creating bittered ice balls using one of those funky ice ball machines. It’s an interesting technique… I like the way the bitters slowly get released, developing the drink as the ice melts.

  4. […] at Kaiser Penguin has a bunch of editors who need to be slapped. Tell Rick in his comments that you want him to […]

  5. The Gin and Tonic that won the Martin Miller’s G&T contest (by Jennifer Colliau) used bitters ice cubes.

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.