Cocktails served straight up
White and rosé wines
Drinks on the rocks
Belgian strong ales and many craft beer
Master distillers and blenders nose and taste their creations at room temperature because chilling them diminishes the aromatics. And connoisseurs wouldn’t dream of warming a brandy snifter: the heat releases a whoosh of alcohol that numbs the olfactory system.
Of course, sometimes you want a spirit right out of the freezer—icy cold, viscous and smooth. And there’s an exception to the previous dictum about brown spirits at room temperature: a shot of a light, unpeaty Scotch like Dalwhinnie served from the freezer smells of sherry casks and hay. Serve it with a slice of dark chocolate cake for a stunning dessert.
You can cool a bottle of wine or beer down in an ice bucket filled with water and ice much more quickly than if you put it in the fridge. In a bucket, the temperature of the liquid in the bottle drops by one degree every minute. So nine minutes takes a white wine from room temperature to perfection.