Though it sounds rather inconspicuous—like other boozy misnomers, including the Long Island Iced Tea, Kentucky Lemonade and Texas Ranch Water—the Kansas City Ice Water packs a serious punch. The drink combines a base of vodka and gin with elements of citrus and bubbles, often taking the form of triple sec and 7-Up, or fresh citrus and tonic water. It is, as many bartenders describe, basically a Gin & Tonic and a Vodka Soda poured into the same glass. “It’s kind of a gateway for people who may not want a big bourbon or whiskey cocktail,” says Kenny Cohrs, parlour manager at The Monarch, a high-end cocktail bar that opened in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, in 2017. “It’s a ‘Give me something easy’ or ‘Give me something fun’ kind of a thing.” Recently, Kansas City bars like The Monarch have been including the cocktail on their menus and putting their own spin on the strong, tall drink.
The Monarch’s Kansas City Ice Water
The Monarch’s take on the cocktail combines a traditional gin and vodka base with blanc vermouth, which has a touch of sweetness, and a few dashes of fino sherry. Good quality tonic water and soda water elevate the cocktail even more, taking it from a dive bar staple to a sophisticated sipper. It’s just the thing for a hot, sweltering summer day—no matter where you are.
- Add vodka, gin, vermouth and sherry to a Collins glass filled with crushed ice.
- Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into the drink and discard.
- Top with tonic and soda water.
- Stir to mix and garnish with slices of lemon and lime.