+ Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Ice Ice, Baby

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Ice is an important ingredient in many cocktails.  The shape and size of the ice cubes used can actually change how a drink tastes.  If you plan to take the time to serve a beautiful cocktail this holiday season or your sipping from an expensive bottle of spirits in celebration, you should take a little time to get your ice right.

The key to perfect ice is to boil the water first.  In addition to giving you cleaner, clearer cubes, Food52 explains that the resulting ice will be denser and melt slower than the bag ice from the bodega.  (photos ℅ Food52)

As for shaping homemade ice, that depends on the type of cocktail you’re serving. I like large spherical molds for serving good Bourbon and Whisky.  For regular cocktails and punch bowls, I use a silicon ice cube tray from Tovolo.  But if you’re feeling festive, check out these mold for stars or reindeer.

You can also sink things into the ice.  Sometimes, I’ll put berries or orange peels into the cubes, if I’m serving brunch.  For the holidays, what about red currants and sprigs of rosemary?

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Rachel Zoe Presley Sweater ($325)

Speaking of ice, I’ve found some holiday sweaters that are both festive and chic.  No ugly embroidered reindeer needed.

I chose this RZ sweater for the mix of textures and the sequin sleeve.  If you’d like a similar look for less, try this American Eagle sweater or this one from Topshop.

For a bit of sparkle in your casual winter attire, I also like this Sequin Colorblock Sweater from LOFT.  This Joan Vass sweater with the chevron design is nice, but my favorite is this inexpensive sweater from Robbi & Nikki with sequin stripes.

Prefer your sequins on a sweater dress?  Try this sparkly black number from Karen Kane or this Michael Kors dress with an embellished neckline.  Or just work a sequin scarf, like this gray one from Forever21 or this Echo infinity scarf, into your wardrobe.

Plus-size?  Try this simple Calvin Klein sweater with sequin detail or this Macy’s sweater dress with a jeweled neckline.  Petite?  The LOFT sequin sweater comes in your size, as does this ethereal Alfani sweater.  Tall? This L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic cardi comes in your size.

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