In planning a television demonstration on Swedish Gravlax, I wanted to do something more original and attractive than ice packs to keep the cured wild salmon cold in the gift container (a fishing creel basket).
Why waste precious container space on ugly ice packs? Nips of Ice will do the job more distinctively while adding another “layer” to the gift (frozen Absolut is surely the beverage of choice for Swedish Gravlax).
I had a little trouble finding the right mold for the blocks to surround the mini bottles or “nips” of vodka– something small, but deep enough to encase the entire bottle in ice. Most cups, molds, ramekins, etc. were too big and too shallow, but little plastic cups designed for cup dispensers are perfect and can be found at any supermarket.
I placed the cups in muffin pan molds for extra support and centered a vodka bottle in each cup before carefully filling it to the very rim with hot water, which supposedly makes clearer ice.
When everything is frozen solid, it is easy to cut the cups away. I put a protective layer of plastic wrap around each ice nip before the final wrap of clear cellophane gathered with red raffia and a tiny heart tag. (Bonus: you can put the wrapped ice nips in the freezer and they are no worse for wear.)
I will serve the frozen vodka in insulated Boda shot glasses to keep it icy cold.
Make several icy nips to keep the gravlax cold and the lucky recipient warm. Skaal! (That’s Swedish for “bottoms up.”)