A trend of putting a very large ice cube in drinks sparked an article in Globe and Mail . According to the article, bartenders in upscale places are putting large ice cubes in old fashioned glasses to keep drinks from being watery. The ice cubes measure about 5 centimeters long which makes them big than the traditional small ice cubes. Big enough, the author notes, to sink the Titanic!
Well not really of course but it does raise some questions. Do large ice cubes melt slower than the smaller? Of course one ought to be skeptical of the claim that using collosal size cubes means drinks are less watery. In recent years most bars have gotten pretty good at cutting costs. Unless you order scotch neat, chances are most mixed drinks have ice in them to cut down on the amount of alcohol they put in each drink. Now crafty bartenders and owners know people have caught on, so they are bringing out the colossal cube. They say it makes your drink less watery. And because of its size, you do not notice it melting much.
The writer of the piece did have someone do an experiment on it. And it looks like the larger cubes shed less water than the smaller ones which seems to mean you get a stiffer drink. However the Mythbusters rule needs to be used here. I am not convinced (and neither is the one who did the tests) this is proven yet. There are many factors that need to be explored. And those clever guys on Mythbusters are just the guys to find out the truth. They have already tried out a few alcohol myths so this one ought to be pretty easy to do. My hunch is this: In some cases, you get less water melting from the larger cubes owing to a number of factors but only in a limited way. In most drinks it probably is the same as the smaller ones.
But at least no one is calling these colossal cubes Titanic. 🙂