In my continuing and far ranging search for clear ice producers, I stumbled across the International Packaged Ice Association. Their missions is to:
...promote the growth and superior business practices for the packaged ice industry through the ongoing development and management of standards and value added services that enhance the image of the industry to the consumers and trade-partners. IPIA will achieve these objectives through proactive leadership directed by priorities set by its member companies.
Check out their site for more...
What I'm interested in, is a list of all the international members in the association which you can access through a searchable map:
I'm going to be digging in to everyone on the list to see if I can find more companies to add to the Maker Directory!
I came across an article on punchdrink.com that asks the question so many of us started with: Does clear ice really matter? Well of course it does. :)
“It’s a huge aesthetic difference that can’t be discounted,” argues [Camper] English. “Styrofoam cup versus crystal glassware. It makes for a completely different experience.”
Read more to learn about the different views.
The article features quotes from a few makers in the directory:
For my birthday, friends of mine got me a copy of the legendary and award winning Aviary Cocktail Book. As I was paging through, I was super excited to see a whole section (rightly) dedicated to their ice program! Here are a couple of photos about what they cover.
It's not a cheap book, but if you are into this stuff, it is a gorgeous coffee table resident. You can get it on Amazon.
I found myself with another break in the action and a fridge that was empty. I keep a special freezer in my shed with clear ice blocks, so I pulled one out, cut it in half, and went to work. Half a block creates three freezer bags full of usable cubes.
Here is where I keep the uncut blocks in my shed. It stores four blocks. Two full size and two half size. I've been using quite a bit of ice lately, so I'm down to two full size blocks.
If you are not following Clinebell on Insta, you should be! For those that don't know, they build the devices that use directional freezing to create large 300 pound ice blocks for ice carving and cocktail ice enthusiasts. They just announced something pretty game changing in the cocktail ice world: The Clinebell Craft Mini!
So now, instead of getting clear ice in 300 pound blocks, you can get them in a size that is much more manageable for a retail or personal ice program. No word on the price yet, but I will be watching this closely! Exciting stuff!
Check out the latest issue of the Clear Ice Life newsletter. We recap the week of articles, makers, and instagram hotness.
Dexas, a maker of kitchen tools, supplies, and devices, is launching it's own clear ice maker called Ice-ology.
Dexas is expanding into barware with the new Ice-ology clear ice maker set. The company said the new clear ice maker set is designed to provide consumers with an elevated cocktail experience at home.
An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Allison Steele investigates ice as the bartender's secret weapon.
To bartenders and beverage managers at some Philadelphia cocktail bars, ice is one of the most important ingredients, a crucial tool for bringing a spirit, mixed drink, or mocktail to the right temperature. The thought of making a drink with cubes from a regular freezer tray is almost cringeworthy.
Read the full article
I'd say it is a secret weapon that is becoming less secret as people experience it.
Another week of scouring the web for all the latest in the clear ice game. Check out the latest issue of ClearIce.Life.
I recently stumbled across this article from 2017 The Humble Garnish that does a fantastic job of testing a variety of "at home" clear ice making molds.
The author uses a couple of directional freezing methods, but also puts boiled water, bottled water, and purified water to the test, clearly showing that directional freezing is the only real way to get clear ice. This is illustrated in the article where BLK mineral water is used to show how, through directional freezing, all of the minerals are pushed out. Here's a photo from the article:
To summarize the results, the single most important factor in attaining clear ice is that it be done through slow directional freezing. Water type and temperature will have a small impact on clarity, but the greatest impact it will have is that poor quality water will impart any flavors into the drink as it melts. The two obvious winners for attaining clear ice were the True Cubes mold and the “cooler method” since they both employed directional freezing, allowing the impurities to be easily discarded. For either of these methods, the choice in water type or preparation method had little impact on the resulting ice clarity, but will have a flavor impact as it melts. To make clear ice at home, the only worthwhile methods will incorporate directional freezing.
Welcome to the show!
ClearIce.Life is maintained by Trapper Markelz in pursuit of elevated cocktail experiences at home, and with friends.
Subscribe to the Clear Ice Life newsletter and get awesome resources and adventures delivered to your inbox!