Ice Ice, Baby

I didn’t really care for ice when I was a kid. I actually preferred drinks with no ice. I could drink a room temp soda or sweet tea with no problems. I’ve even been known to drink down the last swigs of a hot Dr. Pepper in the summer.  Don’t hold that against me!

Dr_Pepper_bottle.jpgWhen I was in high school, I was like every other VIP in the Class of 1990–I could do a great Vanilla Ice rendition of Ice Ice, Baby.   But I still didn’t actually prefer ice.  It was just easier to take it or leave it.

As I got (way) older and started having hot flashes, ice became a bit higher priority. I used it to strategically drop an ice cube in my blouse and cool down.  I value holding that cool glass on my forehead more and sticking my head in the freezer has happened a time or two.  I even keep an ice pack in the freezer for emergency hot flash moments.

What’s missing in Italy? Really, across Europe in general? Ice.  So far about half the drinks are served chilled, but our water and sodas are often brought to the table at room temperature.  OK, maybe this is acceptable at dinner when the sun has set and the ambient temp has dropped 15 degrees.  But at 1 pm with lunch after walking 2.5 miles to post in the host sun?  Nah, I’m gonna need me some ice, per favore.

I was so thrilled the other night to have my Coke Zero served with a glass of ice.  I savored every sip of that tiny little can while also being grateful for the classic Zero formula vs the new Zero Sugar.  I’m wondering if this ice service was because we were in a lake area with many German tourists? Doubtful as ice was scarce on our previous visits across Germany.

7b4e223c-049d-4bfd-ab47-459ea044a2ec1.jpgBut, more food for thought crossed my mind tonight.  We tried a new restaurant that had an excellent white house wine.  There is an unoaked Chardonnay served in Italy that is amazing.  I’ve always avoided California Chardonnay because I don’t like the oak flavor.  However, the Chardonnay they serve here is light, crisp and perfect for hot evenings.

Looking across the table at Jerry’s Coca Cola Light (also a different syrup formula than you get stateside with Diet Coke), our acqua naturale carafe and my glass of house wine, I was truck by the inequity and reversal of costs.  The Coke was €4 for the grande size with no refills.  The water was €3 for a 1/4 liter.  And my single, well poured glass of house wine was €2.

Have you ever lived somewhere where drinking wine was cheaper than drinking water?  Here’s a little secret…I’ve cut way back on Coke Zero since we moved here.

I wonder why?