I know I said goodbye two weeks ago, but like a gutted lake trout that still has a couple thrashes in it before it’s ready to leave this place, I wanted to sneak in one last hurrah.
I’ve felt really honored to get to write regular recipe columns as well as cover food and restaurant happenings for the New&Guide during my time in Jackson, and I’ve always had the most fun writing my “Cocktail of the Month” column. While I love pushing people’s food boundaries with things like funky fish sauce and tingly Sichuan peppercorns, you’re not going to catch a heady buzz from the soup, no matter how good it is.
In addition to the intoxication, cocktails are great because their assembly always comes with a little bit of a show. Whether you’re mixing up a strong little night cap like the HBIC or just dumping aperol in a can like the Rainier Spritz, you can ham it up for friends when making a drink.
I’ve never made a cocktail that comes with more of a show than homemade sloshies.
For this to work you need extra chill: more chill than a home freezer or ice cream maker can muster.
You need dry ice, a byproduct of which is those haunted house-style plumes of think spooky fog.
As a friendly reminder, dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide that sublimates from solid to gas at a temperature around -100 degrees. It’s also available cheaply at Albertsons.
Basically, you can turn a simple whisk and bowl into a sloshie machine by adding dry ice and elbow grease. You just make your sloshie base — it’s important the base isn’t too alcoholic so it can still freeze — and mix while adding dry ice until the mixture is chilled to sub-freezing. Make sure to buy your dry ice right before using it, because it will turn into air within a couple of hours.
In testing this recipe it was clear that folks might be a little trepidatious about using dry ice, so I have some safety tips.
First, always wear gloves when handling dry ice so as not to frostbite your skin, which can happen in just seconds. Also, make the sloshies in a well-ventilated area, since this process kicks off a lot of carbon dioxide. Finally, when getting towards the end of the freezing process make sure there is no visible gas coming off the sloshies. By the end the dry ice pieces will look like grains of rice; just keep mixing until they totally disappear. Don’t worry: When the dry ice hits the water in the mix it will eagerly return to its gas form, no risk of freeze burns.
By the time this prints I’ll be two time zones away, I’m sure already missing Jackson. But I’ll be spreading its sloshies vibes everywhere I go, for the rest of time. Later Jackson.