For hip drinkers, ‘Ice’ is nice

The bottles behind the bar stand as tall as soldiers in the army ready for battle. Rows of alcohol face forward looking into the face of their competition.
While the strongest of the soldiers are proudly placed at the front of the assembly line, their attempt to intimidate fails.
“Bartender, I’ll take a shot of tequila,” says a young lady without hesitation.
Normally, this is where the bartender might try to strike up a typical conversation about how it’s been a long week. But not this time. The bartender knows that hard liquor is not the same when it’s served in an edible shot glass.
Arctic Ice Shots, the latest trend of shot glasses, are slowly being introduced to bars and nightclubs nationally and internationally. The shot glasses can be made from gelatin or fruit mixers and are intended to make quick intakes of hard liquor easier for the consumer, said Desiree Golub, vice president of marketing and promotion at Arctic Ice Shots.
The glass, Golub said, can replace the need for a chaser to prevent the burning sensation in the throat when consuming hard liquor.
“What happens is the juice changes the flavor of the alcohol,” Golub said. “If you use orange juice for instance, it takes a fruity flavor and makes it smoother. People just like the taste of a chilled shot.”
The plastic shot glass is designed to allow any liquid to form into the shape of a glass. Non-alcoholic beverages such as fruit juice or gelatin are generally used, Golub said, because they eliminate the aftertaste of the alcohol.
The process is complete when the liquid solidifies in the freezer, taking the shape of a shot glass that forms around the cup’s lid.
“The juice turns into the shot glass. It’s similar to the way you would make your own popsicles,” Golub said. “But the form allows you to pour your own liquor into the edible glass.”
However, edible shot glasses could send the wrong message to college students, said Jennifer Friedman, USF sociology professor.
“It encourages drinking,” Friedman said. “It is something to encourage fraternities to try to consume, not that they need the encouragement.”
Friedman said improving the taste of alcohol could influence a person’s decision to drink for the wrong reason.
“Most people have to get accustomed to drinking alcohol and the effects, they don’t usually like the taste of beer right away,” Friedman said. “And if you don’t drink you do feel excluded. It makes it easier for them.”
The Arctic Ice Shots are still being introduced to consumers and have not had any major advertisements, Golub said.
The edible shot glasses originated in Sweden in 1994, Golub said, and the product is still gradually making its way across the United States.
Golub, who works at a company located in Sanford, Fla., said there are Arctic Ice Shot companies in California, England and Canada.
The product has been marketed to customers at bar and nightclub trade shows, Golub said. A recent trip to New York, Golub said, was a chance to present the Arctic Ice Shots to retailers in the area.
“Whenever we go, the people are just amazed and (we) get a lot of requests,” Golub said.
The plastic glasses, which are reusable, are marketed toward the younger generation, as well, Golub said. Fraternity logos, she said, are among some of the requests for personalized glasses that the company makes for its customers.
“We’ve gotten a lot of success with nightclubs and bars asking for them,” Golub said. “We get sales from those aged 21 – 50, but our sales also come from those who just want to have gatherings as well as parties.”

Contact Grace Agostinat