The year 2020 has proven to be anything but predictable, and for it to only be three-quarters the way through, it still feels like we’ve been in a constant state of suspension, since March began. Nevertheless, the necessity of making art is essential to life and in the words of the great Toni Morrison, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear.” With that guidance many creatives have taken heed going into seclusion due to the pandemic and to create, innovate and produce art for the world to indulge. Multidisciplinary artist Leslie Kirchoff is amongst the world of creatives that found a unique niche in bridging the gap between distinctive cocktails and charming luxury. She’s a self-proclaimed ice innovator, as well as a, cocktail consultant, photographer and DJ, who’s building an icy empire. Innovating the world of mixology and brand opulence.
During her studies abroad in 2011 as a sophomore while attending New York University, she was able to cultivate a new skill in DJ’ing at a hip nightclub in Paris. Where Kirchoff noticed a “distinct lack of creative attention being paid to the cocktail’s arguable centerpiece – the ice cube.” In 2018 while experimenting with her mixology passions as an ice cube designer and curator in her “tiny” New York kitchen, she launched her now booming business, aptly called Disco Cubes. Since then the New York Times has profiled her while, numerous collaborations ensued including Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren to Playboy and Nespresso just to name a few. Her beautiful cocktail images self creatively directed and photographed in her creative studio have been featured on Vogue.com and the Coveteur.
Now residing in Los Angeles, the fruition of these masterly concocted cocktails and portraits needed a leisurely luxe home between pages for everyone to indulge and it landed in Kirchoff’s first recipe book entitled Disco Cube Cocktails, 100+ Innovative Recipes for Artful Ice and Drinks. Released in April under Chronicle Books publishing, this book contains exquisitely developed cocktails by the ice connoisseur. Featuring everything you’ll need to be an at-home bartender from tools to glasses, factoids about ice and curated playlists.
Of course, the book is chock-full of fabulous recipes including:
• Rose Cubes in a White Negroni
• Jalapeño ice for an evolving margarita
• A Golden (Bloody) Mary that shifts from sweet to savory as the ice melts
• The Walter Gibbons with a Red Onion Raft
• White peach spheres for a cool take on a classic Bellini
Leslie Kirchoff has taken the cocktail and luxury industry by storm and in an innovative direction that she’s pushing forward through conceptually and deliciously appetizing drinks. As this year 2020 progresses into the continuous unknown, what’s for sure, is the need for delectable cocktail libations to luxuriate on now and through to January 2021.
Grace Under Fire, Photo: Courtesy of Disco Cubes
The Q & A
Fancy Smancy (You create deliciously fancy smancy cocktails how did you get started?)
I think my love for ice and cocktails came about while I was DJing and traveling a lot. Trying so many different drinks gave me a curiosity for the craft, and really set my mind wandering.
Kiddie Cocktails (What was the first cocktail you ever had?)
I wish I could remember! I was a big fan of Shirley Temples as a kid though, which we called Kiddie Cocktails.
Creamsicle Driver (What is the name of your most decadent cocktail concoction?)
The Dream Driver. It’s a rich velvety orange and cream dessert drink.
The Little Planet (What is one of your most intricate and memorable ice cube designs created?)
One of my favorites has to be the globe spheres I made for a Discovery Channel event. I used Chinese blue tea, and fresh mint leaves to make them look like little planet Earths.
Visual Playground (What inspires your imagination and your ice cube development?)
A lot of different things inspire me, but mainly other visual art. Films, sculptures, design… Also, color and food.
That’s So Vintage (Your aesthetic seems to align with vintage 70s and early 80s sensibilities. How did that come about?)
I love the simplicity and straightforwardness of a lot of design and art from that era, so I guess that’s just the way I like to capture and create things, too. Plus, I’ve always loved a warm color scheme, which creates some instant nostalgia even when there’s nothing else overly vintage about the photo.
Champagne Luxe (Can you share with us a leisurely and luxe cocktail recipe we can try out at home?)
My favorite lazy-fancy cocktail is a Kir Royale – Add a splash of Creme de Cassis to a champagne glass, then top with champagne.
Disco Cubes (Your new book Disco Cube Cocktails has debuted, when and how did you decide to create a book of cocktails and ice cubes?)
Actually, it wasn’t my idea at all—I launched Disco Cubes two years ago with a piece in the New York Times, and by chance, the woman who would become the designer of my book read the piece. She then brought the idea to her editor, and they reached out shortly after! It all happened quite quickly.
Future Files (Do you plan to create more books of this nature in the future?)
I would love to make another book! It’s always in the back of my mind.
Forward (What’s next for you and Disco Cubes?)
Right now I’m operating mostly as a creative studio, so I’ve been shooting a lot. I have a lot of ideas on the horizon for Disco Cubes and I just need to figure out where to start while navigating these strange times!