I stumbled across an article that asked this very question: "What's the most important ingredient in a cocktail?" and then they add the click bait part: YOU'LL NEVER GUESS... But guess what... I totally guessed. :)
“Ice is the most important part of your drink,” declares Jay Khan, founder of the agave-focused bar Coa. “It controls the dilution and temperature of your cocktail. I’d say that 98 per cent of our drinks here use ice, so it’s essential. Not to mention, good clear ice just looks sexy.”
Spoiler alert: It's clear ice! Possibly with flowers in it...
I came across a pretty solid list of rigs you can use to make clearer ice at home. There is also a list on the Maker page for @home as well!
Even if you’ve perfected your mixology skills and filled your cabinets with fancy glasses and bartending tools, your homemade Old Fashioned or Aperol Spritz will never live up to the ones served at a craft-cocktail bar if you use cloudy ice cubes that smell vaguely like the leftovers you’ve been storing in the freezer. As Mathew Resler, the head bartender at Bar Goto, says, “Ice is an integral ingredient when making cocktails. The appearance, dilution ratio, taste, and purity are all essential to a proper drink.”
With a new job, other hobbies, and end of the year kid activity overload, I've been a bit swamped with life. But that doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying the clear ice life! I hope you've been at it too! Here are some snaps of recent clear ice adventuring.
All of it hand cut. All of it made with love. Most of it shared with friends.
According to the email list I am on, the Forge Clear Ice System is starting pre-orders this month! June 19th, you can go to their site and sign up for a $1,500 system.
The "system" contains two components: the Ice Maker, and the Heated Press.
The Ice Maker creates multiple large gem-shaped blocks of clear ice in hours and holds them at the ideal temperature in an internal freezer. You can then use the Heated Press to shape those gems into clear ice spheres in about a minute. It looks like quite the setup!
While I was on a business trip to LA, I ended the evening at a restaurant and bar in the Sheraton Grand Hotel called District. They had an amazing cocktail program going, including a solid clear ice program with all of the ice produced in-house.
Here are some other ice program photos:
I highly recommend you check it out if you are in LA. They really care about what they are doing there. The cocktail smoking program is also on point as well!
One of the makers in the directory, Chisel & Shaker, were featured in an online article at Distinction. In there, they ask the question, is ice just another pretty face?
Matt Jones answers: "“You go into a nice place and get a $10 drink where everything is perfect, so why wouldn’t you pay attention to your ice?"
Indeed Matt! Read more
Food and Beverage Magazine is reporting that Clinebell has just become a third generation family owned business. Since the 1960s, they've been creating the equipment that builds the clear ice that we all know and love. Join me in congratulating them for this awesome accomplishment.
Last Friday, I had an opportunity to entertain a bunch of folks at a dinner party by preparing and serving clear ice, and facilitating a tequila tasting. It was the first time I've ever had a "paid gig" sharing clear ice in someone else's home. I've done other events via charity auctions, but never an actual paid opportunity! It was a ton of fun and everyone was amazed! The word-of-mouth network is working! I'm sure there will be more in the future!
A while back, I linked to some information about a clear ice making machine from CBFI. Since then, I've gotten into contact with them. First because I was interested in getting one to put in my living room... but mainly just because I'm super interested in all the ways that clear ice is starting to find it's way to consumers and retailers.
NOTE: I'm not getting paid or compensated for this post. I just think it's really cool, so I emailed them and asked for more information and some photos I could share on the site. They were super nice and sent a few things over that I'm featuring here.
CBFI has a cube machine, but they are putting a lot of effort into an ice ball machine that just prints these suckers out at high speed. They are offering up an entire process.
Feed your milled blocks into the Ice Sphere Machine and out the other side comes perfectly round ice shaped the same size. Print your ice... package... ship!
This is obviously an industrial process, but if you head over to the Makers page, there is an ever growing number of ice makers all over the world that I assume will want to get in on something like this. Here are a few more pictures with some sizzle:
If industrial ice is your game, you can contact them directly at:
CBFI (Customer Benefit From Ice Source.)
Guangzhou Ice Source CO, LTD.
Wow... the music fits too.
Welcome to the show!
ClearIce.Life is maintained by Trapper Markelz in pursuit of elevated cocktail experiences at home, and with friends.
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