Just like when an old friend unexpectedly texts you to ask about a shirt you borrowed/stole years ago and haven’t seen since, the staff of New York was unexpectedly reminded on Friday of something we thought we’d forgotten: “icing,” the drinking game in which you get surprised by a Smirnoff Ice and then have to chug the whole thing on bended knee.
Earlier that day, the Washington Post reported that the White House office in charge of recruiting and vetting political appointees — the Presidential Personnel Office — “iced” a staffer on his 30th birthday in January. And upon hearing the news, staffers from across New York verticals, including those of us at the Cut, were suddenly flooded with our own Bros Icing Bros–related memories of yore, from college party icings and birthday cake icings, to icings of the more romantic variety.
Here, a roundup of truly blessed memories from New York staffers:
“A couple of years after icing was a thing, I was really into icing my then-boyfriend. I thought it was hilarious at the time but, in retrospect, it’s still pretty hilarious.” —Gabriella Paiella, senior writer, the Cut
“I can’t really remember why but there was this year in college where I was obsessed with icing this one kid in my friend group. Like, I iced him any chance I got (and never got iced back — to this day I have never been iced). On his birthday, a friend and I made him a cake, cut a hole in the center, and hid a Smirnoff in it.” —Aude White, communications manager
“My friends once tried to be cool and ice each other in college, but if I remember correctly we only bought a six-pack of ices — so, it ended quickly.” —Jackson McHenry, associate editor, Vulture
“I was a bridesmaid for a very close friend from college. It was out in Long Island. It was a huge party, probably close to 300 people, ten-piece band, chocolate fountain, the works. The best man was a really nice guy who had recently been through some serious medical trauma and had been in the hospital for weeks. The groom had been a big support system for him, visiting the hospital a lot, helping in any way he could. So the best man gives this really heartfelt toast at the wedding, saying he’ll never be able to repay the groom for all he did, but he’d like to give him a small gift. He hands the groom a small gift bag. The groom pulls out a Smirnoff. The crowd went wild.” —Tara Abell, news editor, Vulture
“My friend is obsessed with icing people, and we thought it would end after college but it didn’t end. I kid you not, it felt like every other day his Snapchat story was him or one of his friends taking a knee. Also, fun fact, ices are gluten-free! So one time I was sent to a bodega to get more alcohol at a party and was instructed to find a gluten-free option. All they had was Smirnoff Ice. It was surprisingly a pretty big hit.” —Madison Mills, video producer, New York
“I never was involved in any icings myself (I have good taste, which is why I drink Bud Light Lime), but one of my hometown friends, Justin, was an, uh, Prolific Icer with his roommates and friends. One of the funniest was when Justin gave his younger brother, Dylan, a college graduation present that Dylan knew was just a gift-wrapped Smirnoff Ice; he then gave him his ‘real’ present, which was another gift-wrapped Smirnoff Ice. But the very best was when his roommate hid one in their toilet’s tank, unhooked the chain, and left it for Justin to fix … and, yes, he drank the Ice.” —Chris Crowley, staff writer, Grub Street
“My freshman year of college I iced a friend of mine on her birthday. We were hanging out in the campus coffee shop/lounge and I think I hid it in her backpack or something very original like that. As she was kneeling and chugging, I snapped a picture which I, because it was 2010, promptly posted on Facebook and tagged her in. Turns out, her parents had, prior to seeing that post, believed their daughter was the lone college student who genuinely meant it when she said she wasn’t drinking until she turned 21. We’re still friends and I still feel so awkward around her parents.” — Madison Malone Kircher, associate editor, Select All
“My ex-boyfriend’s bff in California once called me for his address so he could ice him through the mail.” —Mary Jane Weedman, assistant editor, New York
“Do not ice people with 24-ounce Smirnoff Ices. My friends and I started doing this in the summer in Texas and we had to stop because of two indoor-puking scenarios. Thank you!” —Matt Stieb, fact-checker, New York
“When I was 18 I went to Europe for two weeks with a bunch of high-school friends. There were a couple teachers to ‘keep us in line’ or whatever. But it was like the pinnacle of icing being a thing. I, vaguely, remember our last night in Paris. I was among the few left with any money (things were still mostly cash, it was like 2007) and we bought ALL the Smirnoff Ice from the little store around the corner. And these were the bigger ones, not the six-pack bottles. And sat on the back patio of this tiny hole in the wall, like a Hilton Hotel in Paris, icing each other. It was bad.” —Hillary McDaniels, product manager, Vulture