What's all the fuss about ice?
You may wonder about the importance of the ice we use for your event and why it matters! Ice is so important for making cocktails, without it, there is no bar. Nobody wants a warm undiluted drink.
When we shake cocktails, we do 3 things.
1. We dilute the cocktail. Using kinetic energy to move the ice back and forth through the liquid there is a transfer of kinetic to endothermic energy causing the ice to melt and therefore diluting the cocktail and making it more palatable.
2. Along with dilution we are also bringing the temperature of the liquid down, chilling the cocktail to a palatable 1 degree, which in turn fires off your trigeminal receptors giving a pleasant feeling while you drink.
3. Finally shaking the drink with ice aerates the cocktail forcing small air bubbles throughout the drink giving it a smoother texture and a pleasant mouthfeel.
A similar equation happens when we stir cocktails. Stirring cocktails is a much more controlled method of mixing and diluting ingredients to create your cocktail, just without the vigorous movement causing aeration.
When serving a simple spirit and mixer the quality of ice has a directly effect on the final quality of the drink. For example, poorly made ice will dilute quicker giving you a warmer watery drink, take more to give the volume displacement to fill the glass and give the correct ratio of spirit to mixer and finally it will chip and very in size which both looks bad and can hinder the drinking experience (getting surprised with ice chips when you swallow is uncomfortable and jarring).
Because of these crucial elements to making a cocktail it is important that we use the right ice.
We use the Rolls Royce of ice machines from Hoshizaki, which create 32mm clear cubes of wet ice. Unlike freeze dried ice, Hoshizaki ice gives moisture rather than absorbs. Freeze dried ice is frozen and needs to temper before use (come up in temperature) and varies heavily in the surface area and density, which is important as the larger the surface area the slower transfer of energy and therefor more controlled dilution. Hoshizaki ice is consistent in its size, temperature and density- that’s why it is the king of ice machines.
When serving a simple spirit and mixer the quality of ice has a directly effect on the final quality of the drink. For example, poorly made ice will dilute quicker, take more to give the volume displacement to fill the glass and give the correct ratio of spirit to mixer.
We have opted for a hydrocarbon model which uses naturally occurring hydrocarbons as refrigerants that have very low environmental impact and high energy potential. Alongside this we use activated carbon (charcoal) filters for their chlorine reduction properties and neutral tasting finish.
We pack and seal our ice at 12KG per bag on site. We weigh each bag and seal with our thermo Hacona (matata) sealer for consistency and hygiene. At £10 a bag you are guaranteed ice that will not compromise the integrity of your drinks, hygienic packaging and transport, low environmental impact production and we calculate our volumes off of 10kg bags to ensure you don’t run out.
We deliver and store this to you in commercial grade igloos - massive cool boxes, that can keep your ice intact for up to 5 days (yes, we tested it!).
So the next time you're wondering how much ice to add to your drink, just remember what your friendly neighbourhood bartender would say - more is more!
N.b. Originally written in 2021 by Tom Sutton