My New Year's Cocktail

Isn't this a beautiful cocktail? Clean and fresh. It's a white cosmopolitan, like the ones served at Daniel in New York, garnished with an ice ball containing a frozen orchid. I found the recipe in the New York Times, and the clever contraption to make the ice ball at the MOMA store.

You can use store-bought lime juice, but fresh is always better. I bought 10 limes and they made enough juice for 8 cocktails.

The recipe calls for St. Germain Elder Flower liqueur, which comes in this gorgeous bottle. You can find it in limited quantities in most Dallas liquor stores. I found mine at Majestic.

The recipe also calls for Snow Queen vodka, which is made from organic wheat. It comes in this exquisite bottle, too, and you can find it in limited quantities at most boutique liquor stores, including Majestic.

I used Ocean Spray white cranberry juice (see recipe).

As far as I know, the MOMA contraption for making frozen spheres is the only thing in the American market, and it's pretty new.  It is imported from Japan, so the instructions are all in Japanese. Good luck with that. They use it to keep saki cold, as spheres melt more slowly than ice cubes. 

Figuring the ice tray out was not easy. There's not much reliable information on how to use it on the Internet, either. After much experimentation, I managed to produce a few ice balls that worked. Here's what you do -- the tray comes in two parts. Use the bottom for your orchids. Smaller orchids work better since their petals stay inside the ball easier. Put them face down into the "bowl" part. 

The top part has two tiny holes. These are not openings for filling water, as some people have said on their blogs, it's for releasing excess water and air. 

In a normal ice tray, you only fill the areas for the cubes with water. To create a sphere with these trays, fill the bottom tray up to the edge of the tray so that it's almost overflowing. At this point, either your orchids stay put or they start to float. Mostly they float. Pouring slowly seems to help. You just have to go with it. Or find a better way and let me know.

Then, put the top on, pushing it down slowly, until excess water escapes. If the top won't stay down, tape the sides together. 

Then freeze it. 

BUT WAIT!!! You want nice, transparent spheres, don't you? Regular tap water won't do, as I learned the hard way. You must use filtered water (I used Whole Foods' 361 brand spring water) and then you must boil it, not once, but twice, to release as many air bubbles as possible, which make the ice cloudy. Boil the water several minutes, then let it cool all the way down. Then, boil it for several minutes again, then let it cool all the way down. Failing to boil long enough, or not allowing it to cool long enough, will result in partially cloudy spheres. 

They neglect to mention all of this in the New York Times recipe. But, I found a video for making perfectly clear ice cubes on You Tube. 

If you try it, let me know how it works.