It’s one of the great quandaries of life that everyone must ponder and try to arrive at their own answer: Should you add ice to a drink and risk watering it down, or should you battle on with a drink that’s marginally warmer than you’d like it to be?
Such a first-world problem is what a Kentucky-based startup is trying to solve with its new Beyond Zero system. Having officially debuted this month at the 2017 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, the Beyond Zero system allows you to combine the best of both worlds — by making ice cubes not out of water, but out of alcohol instead.
“We developed the world’s first ever machine to freeze liquor into ice cubes so you can enjoy a cool cocktail without diluting the taste of the underlying spirit,” founder, inventor, and all-round happy hour savior Jason Sherman told Digital Trends. “Since it’s so cold, it masks the heat of high-proof spirits like whiskey, tequila, or vodka, and smooths out the taste.”
Sherman’s heartwarming story began back in Miami, where he was a scotch and bourbon drinker, with barely an invention to his name. “Like a lot of other people out there I got tired of my small luxury experience always being watered down and decided to make a machine to solve the problem,” he said.
Technically, the Beyond Zero system is actually two separate gadgets in one: The Liquor Ice Maker and the Liquor Ice Storage Unit. You start out by pouring liquor into the first machine, where it’s chilled to levels way below a regular freezer using a proprietary method. This takes just a few minutes, so you won’t have to wait around making awkward small talk with your drinking buddies for several hours like you would with a normal freezer, making boring, noninebriating ice cubes. It then transfer the cubes into the Storage Unit, and keeps them frozen until they’re ready to be plopped into your drink.
You can even flex your creative muscles by combining more than one liquor together in ice, or creating ice in different colors.
“It’s available for pre-order now with first shipments expected to deliver in August,” Sherman said. “We designed the machines for commercial venues like bars, hotels, restaurants, and casinos, but we also got approvals for home use. Overall, we think it’s a fun, easy-to-use machine for anyone that wants to elevate their cocktail experience.”