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Booze Clues

Your three most pressing bar questions answered

What's with the giant ice?
No, that's not a Rubik's Cube in your drink. Those big blocks come courtesy of Los Angeles-based Neve Luxury Ice Company. "The bigger the cube, the less dilution—or water—you get," says Michel Dozois, Nove founder and bar manager at Church & State. "and they allow your drink to chill more." One two-by-two-inch cube takes three-and-a-half hours to melt.

Enomatic what-the-what?
Robots are taking over—the wine world at least. The Enomatic wine dispenser is part fridge, part computer, part spout. Customers insert a card and select a wine. The machine then dispenses a calibrated portion into a glass. Sexy? No. But these devices "control oxidation and keep the wines at their optimal temperatures," says Peter Birminghamm, wine director at Santa Monica's Pourtal. OK, R2-D2, you can stay.

Beer pong? Really?
The Midwest's most popular frat0boy sport is turning into this generations Ms. Pac-Man. Bouncing a table tennis ball over a net into your opponent's cup of flat beer is a "fun game that young and old have most likely played at some point," says Brian McKearney, owner of Culver City's Rush Street, which features beer pong at special events. "Everyone ends up drinking, not just the losers."