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Ordering a drink with no ice

My grandmother didn’t like ice in her drinks. She preferred boiled water that had cooled to room temperature, stored in an insulated bottle. Or a cup of hot tea. I haven’t embraced room-temperature water, yet.

My grandmother didn’t like ice in her drinks. She preferred boiled water that had cooled to room temperature, stored in an insulated bottle. Or a cup of hot tea.

I haven’t embraced room-temperature water, yet. But I am coming around to her attitude about ice in drinks. The ice interferes.

For entertaining insight into this, there’s Why Do Russians Hate Ice?, a blog posting from 2011 by Alina Simone at nytimes.com

“If you were born in the Soviet Union and are of a certain age, ice is your enemy,” Simone reports. She hit the streets to pose the question, “Why do Russians hate ice?”

Some of my thinking on ice:

— Ice dilutes the drink. You get less for your money.
— Ice dominates. The drink — orange juice, soft drink, mineral water — fades to the background, and your tongue is numbed by the cold. 
— Ice can have a funkiness, adding an unwanted foreign essence.
— Have you seen where ice sometimes comes from? Namely, scooped from a bucket that hasn’t been washed in gosh knows how long.
— But ice is necessary to make a good smoothie.

When I ask for a drink with no ice, restaurants and bars have been happy to oblige. The request must be frequent, because there is never a quizzical look, or a sigh of annoyance.

I once received a drink in a smaller-than-normal glass when I asked for no ice. It was a premium soda pop. At the same place, plain old Coca-Cola came in the larger standard glass when I asked for no ice.

But at a fast food place — where there was a no-ice button on the cash register — my no-ice Coke came in a small cup, even though I asked for medium.

With self-serve drink fountains becoming common place at fast food restaurants and convenience stores, that’s less of an issue. When you fill your cup, you decide whether ice goes in it.

A compromise is the big ice cube, which melts slower, thus diluting less, while still providing a chill. You can buy, for example, the Tovolo King Cube Ice Tray.

I’m not necessarily recommending it. I found it when I did a search for “big ice cube” on Google.

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