From your whiskey sour to your margarita on the rocks; ice is the key ingredient to a truly great cocktail, shaken or stirred. But when you’re drinking your Old Fashioned with ice that’s been made with unfiltered water or has residue in it, it can ruin even the best of mixed drinks.
Why is this? Well, many municipalities treat their water with chlorine or chloramines to disinfect their public water supply. However, these disinfectants don’t tackle every contaminant that might be present in your water — including chlorine-resistant cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium — and can also leave an unpleasant taste and odor in your water.
The case is even more extreme for those using well water, as there are no actual government regulations to filter out unwanted contaminants. All of that water — and everything in it, from bacteria to pharmaceuticals to lead and mercury — could make your drink all the more unhealthy.
Trace chemicals in our tap water, like chlorine and sediments from erosion, don’t just make our drinks more unhealthy, they can alter the taste of our drinks, too. This is actually why many pro bartenders and cocktail experts prefer filtered water.
Trace chemicals in our tap water, like chlorine and sediments from erosion, don’t just make our drinks more unhealthy, they can alter the taste of our drinks, too.
But you don’t need to go to mixology school to get great tasting beverages. Here are a few drink recipes that are elevated with ice made from clean, filtered water.
By way of New York Times Cooking, we have the French 75 — a crisp, low-alcohol content drink that’s great for any time of the year.
- 1 cup of sugar (for simple syrup)
- 1 oz. of gin or Cognac
- 1.5 oz. of lemon juice
- 2 oz. of champagne
- Make the simple syrup by mixing 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of clean, filtered water in a saucepan over low heat. Cool to room temperature before mixing into your drink.
- Fill your shaker with your filtered ice, and pour in your gin, lemon juice and 1.5 oz. of simple syrup. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled glass and top with champagne.
MARGARITA ON THE ROCKS
Cointreau: a word that margarita fans know by heart, and enthusiasts should have on the tip of their tongues, and newbies should commit to memory if they’re to make this classic drink really stand out.
What you’ll need:
- 1 ½ oz. of tequila (make sure it’s 100% agave)
- 1 ½ oz. of Cointreau
- 1 to 1 ¼ oz. of lime juice. Must be fresh-squeezed!
Mix all ingredients together in a shaker, and include filtered ice. Shake until exterior frosts up, and strain into a glass.
Last, we have this twist on an old-fashioned from food writer Ashley Blom at Forking Up. Blom calls this Tequila Old-Fashioned a ‘New-Fashioned,’ because it’s made with a simple syrup akin to the whiskey version:
Stirrings’ New Fashioned Ingredients:
- 1.5 oz tequila
- 1 oz Stirrings 5 Calorie Margarita Mix
- 1/2 oz chile simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 slice mango (+1 for garnish)
- 2 shakes bitters
- Filtered sparkling water, to fill
Chile simple syrup:
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tsp chile powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
For the syrup:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat and chill until ready to use.
- In a cocktail glass, muddle together the mango, bitters, and simple syrup.
- Add the tequila, and fill the glass with clean, filtered ice.
- Pour sparkling water on top and mix until well blended.
- Serve with a mango slice garnish.
All of these drinks and more are elevated by healthy, clean drinking water. Aquasana’s 2- and 3-Stage Under Sink Systems filter out 15x more contaminants than the leading pitcher filter, including 97% of chlorine and chloramines, as well as heavy metals, chlorine-resistant cysts, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, and more.