Articles

  1. How Flake Machines Can Make You Money

    Flake IceWe’ve talked about flake ice machines before, and we thought that it was high time that we talk about them again. This time, let’s look at owning a flake ice machine from a money making standpoint. How can you make money from your flake ice machine?

    First, let’s talk a little about flake ice. It’s like snow, really. Easily packable, put into the fish displays, wrapped around produce, used to chill the salads in the salad bar, and a bunch of other uses. It is also the best type of ice that you can use for creating cold packs, because it easily molds to the shape that you need.

    But how can your flake ice machine make you money?

    Well, that depends on the business that you’re in. Let’s say that you’re a convenience store owner that’s near a lake or a river that people frequent for fishing. If you happen to have something to pack fish, something better than those bags of half cube that you find in a merchandiser, you can charge a touch more to give your patrons what they want.

    Maybe you’re at that same convenience store and have construction workers come by all day, needing to fill their coolers. Well, if you give them flake ice, they will enjoy it more because of the pliability that the ice has. Hence, you can charge a little bit more money to your customers, and pocket a few bucks more profit.

    Snow cones. Yes, we’re going to go there. So, if you want to make a treat for the patrons at your restaurant, or serve guests at your party homemade snow cones, you can easily make them with a little syrup and some flake ice. If you’ve already got a machine on the premises, it never hurts to open another revenue stream.

    Capitalize on your flake ice machine for more than just the deli counter. Imagine the possibilities!

     

  2. Must-Serve Slushy Cocktails

    It's getting warmer and that means one thing: it's time to grill and entertain friends outdoors. While there are a number of places to get recipes to throw on your grill, you'll also need to provide tasty beverages for your guests. Here are just a few ideas on what to prepare.

    The Recipes

    1. Slushy Cosmopolitan

    It's like a traditional Cosmopolitan, but this speaks to the slushy lover in all of us.

    Ingredients:

    10 oz citrus flavored vokda
    ½ cup Rose's lime juice
    2 cups cranberry juice
    4 ice cube trays
    2 cups water

    Preparation:

    Combine vodka, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher with 2 cups water and stir to blend. Divide between ice cube trays and let freeze at least 4 hours. Just before serving, empty the trays into a punch bowl and gently break up the ice cubes. Serve in a tall stemmed glass.

    2. Frozen Cranberry-Moonshine Lemonade

    Still have a hankering for those holiday flavors? This will quench your thirst. Be advised, however, this one requires some advanced preparation. The cranberry-moonshine has to sit out at room temperature for at least 3 days.

    Ingredients:

    1 (12-oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate
    ¾ cup cranberry-infused moonshine
    1/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
    2 tablespoons orange liqueur
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to the 5-cup level and then process until smooth.

    3. Porter Float

    Ice cream floats are a delicious way to beat the heat. Turn this idea into an adults only version using ice cream and a creamy porter or stout.
    Ingredients:

    Premium vanilla ice cream
    Few tablespoons of creamy porter or stout
    Fresh Raspberries
    Fresh Mint Sprigs

    Preparation:

    Top premium vanilla ice cream with a few tablespoons of a creamy porter or stout (Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout). Add a sprinkle of fresh raspberries and mint to top off this adult dessert.

    4. Orange Creme Refresher

    If you liked creamsicles, this drink will remind you of those delectable treats. It's sure to invoke nostalgia among your guests. This recipe is designed for the Magic Bullet Blender. If you don't have one, you can use a regular blender. Simply start with 2/3 cup ice and add more as needed. For the kiddies, simply nix the alcohol.

    Ingredients:

    ¼ cup 1% low-fat milk
    1 ½ oz white rum
    1/3 cup orange sorbet
    1 tsp fresh lime juice
    ice to fill cup

    Preparation:

    Fill the Magic Bullet blender cup (or your blender) with the ingredients in the order presented. It is important to really fill the cup. Blend until smooth.

    These are just a few icy cold cocktail recipes for you to enjoy as the weather gets warmer and those grills begin to get fired up.

    Enjoy!

     

  3. How One Squirrel Survives Being Frozen

    It's no secret that most mammals abhor the cold. They will hibernate or will migrate to warmer climates once temperatures drop below freezing. Science is still trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding the mammal that actually embraces the cold. The arctic ground squirrel is the only known mammal to tolerate subzero body temperatures. Figuring out how the squirrel accomplishes this feat could lead to breakthroughs in organ transplants, allowing the organs to be frozen without damaging them.

    When water freezes, it becomes ice. This presents a problem for most living creatures because when ice crystals form in the living cells of most creatures, they expand and rupture the cell. To survive freezing temperatures, animals must find a way to prevent water from freezing within their cells.

    Some animals, including frogs, turtles, and midges, produce a chemical similar to antifreeze within their bodies to prevent ice from forming. Another tactic is to produce ice nucleating compounds in the right place – between the cells – to encourage ice to form in that space and not within the cell.

    The Squirrel's Secret

    However, this isn't possible in the bodies of mammals. It is the absence of ice nucleating compounds that are the key to the ground squirrel's abilities.

    Before entering into a hibernating state, the arctic ground squirrel cleanse their bodies of any would-be ice nucleators. These nucleators can include small particles of dust and dirt that ice tends to form around. Without these nucleators present in the squirrel's bodies, ice simply cannot form.

    Whatever method is used to prevent freezing, it is evident that the process is a strain. Most animals can only pull off the feat once per year. When tested after the spring thaw, scientists found that even though they could still tolerate freezing temperatures, they could not survive the excessive freezing that they withstood during winter.

    Whatever the method of preventing ice crystals from forming and surviving freezing temperatures, the study of these animals can result in advances in science. These advances could possibly revolutionize organ transplantation. Currently, organs are kept cold, but not frozen and are viable for only a few hours. Figuring out the mysteries of how these animals survive sub-zero temperatures could mean longer viability in the freezing of organs intended for transplant.

  4. 7 Lucky Cocktails for St. Patrick's Day

    It's March. That means March Madness, the Ides of March, and that day filled with wearing green and imbibing green beer. Yes, we're talking St. Patrick's Day. Since we're already going to be imbibing alcohol, why not expand your tastes a bit and try these seven St. Patrick's Day cocktails?

    The Recipes

    1. The Crooked Golf Swing:

    It has a strange combination of ingredients. But don't let that put you off. This cocktail is actually fairly tasty. It manages to stay in balance. It's also neon green, to boot. It goes perfect with your St. Patrick's celebration.

    Ingredients:

    1 oz Midori
    1 oz Amaretto
    Goslings Black Seal Rum
    3 limes

    Preparation:

    Muddle the limes in a shaker with a muddler or the back of a spoon, then fill the shaker with ice and add the Midori and the Amaretto. Shake until icy cold and strain into a rocks glass full of ice. Gently pour rum to the top of the glass as a float.

    2. The Shamrock Sipper

    This drink is light, minty and refreshing. Especially good if green Guinness is weighing you down.

    Ingredients:

    2 parts Skinnygirl Cucumber Vodka
    ½ part fresh lime juice
    Club soda
    Muddled mint leaves
    Shamrock-shaped cucumber slice for garnish

    Preparation:

    Shake all ingredients except club soda with ice and pour into a glass. Top with club soda for extra fizz. Garnish with your shamrock-shaped cucumber slice.

    3. Kiss Me, I'm Irish

    This is a playful take on the Midori sour. It's actually perfectly balanced between sweet and tangy. If you're going to make St. Patty's Day a girl's night out, this is perfect.
    Ingredients:

    2 ½ oz VOGA sparkling
    1 oz Midori melon liqour
    1 oz vodka
    1 ½ oz lemonade

    Preparation:

    In a shaker, combine ice, vodka, Midori, and lemonade. Stir gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with VOGA sparkling. Garnish with a lemon slice.

    4. Sauza's Midori Melon Margarita

    If you're not into drinking green things that don't taste great, this little cocktail will please you. It's tangy and tropical, and who can't use that?

    Ingredients:

    1 ½ oz Sauza Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
    2 Midori liquor
    2 cups fresh lemon sour
    1 cup fresh lime juice
    Lime wedges and melon balls for garnish

    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Place into the fridge to chill. Pour into martini glasses. Garnish with a skewered lime wedge and melon ball.

    5. Dizzy Leprechaun

    Want a cocktail that will inspire your guests to dance -and- help them keep to that dietary New Year's resolution? This low-calorie cocktail will do both.

    Ingredients:

    3 oz lemon-lime sparkling ICE
    1 oz tequila
    Splash of Triple Sec
    Fresh squeezed lime

    Preparation:

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake and pour into a chilled rocks glass rimmed in salt. Garnish with a slice of lime.

    6. Luck of the Irish

    Cucumbers and lemons are refreshing and light tasting. Combining them together into a cocktail is sure to liven up any party.

    Ingredients:

    4 oz Lemonade Sparkling ICE
    1 ½ oz vodka
    Cucumber and lemon slices

    Preparation:

    Muddle a few cucumber slices with vodka. Strain and pour into a tall chilled glass over ice. Top with Lemonade Sparkling ICE. Garnish using your lemon and cucumber slices.

    7. Clover Margarita

    Cucumber and mint team up again in this twist on a traditional margarita. Ditch the food coloring. It's not required to get the gorgeous green color you want on St. Patrick's Day.

    Ingredients:

    2 oz Herradura Silver tequila
    ¾ oz lime juice
    ¾ oz simple syrup
    4 slices cucumber
    6-8 mint leaves

    Preparation:

    Place the cucumber and mint into a shaker and crush gently with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Add ice and the rest of the ingredients and shake until ice cold. Strain the drink into a chilled rocks glass rimmed with salt.

    Any one of these cocktails can put the green into your St. Patrick's Celebrations. Most are easily made and require only a few ingredients. This year, forgo the food coloring dropped into beer and try some naturally green cocktails. And while you're at it, why not try them with some gourmet ice?

     

  5. Ice Farming Helps Local Economy

    When you hear the words 'ice farmer,' you might think about those people long ago who carved ice from rivers into blocks to be sold. Today, ice farmers actually create ice for people to climb. The sport has been around since the 1960s, but really began to take off in the '90s.

    The southwest Colorado town of Ouray has a population of just 1,000 residents, but it has become an international destination for athletes known as ice climbers. The city hosts one of the largest ice climbing parks in the world. There are nearly 200 different climbing routes and 17,000 vertical feet of climbing space.

    The people who create this climbing winter wonderland are known as 'ice farmers.' Each year, during the winter, they use a system of pipes, irrigation, and shower heads that are situated at the top of the gorge. They use these tools to create towering walls of ice.

    While there are several natural ice climbing destinations, there are now just a handful of man-made ice climbing destinations. Wyoming and Minnesota both have man-made ice climbing parks. However, Colorado's Ouray Park is the most popular of all.

    How Ice Farming Works

    Dan Chehayl, the operations manager at Ouray, described the process of ice farming.

    Ice farmers head out as soon as temperatures start dropping in November. They go out to a rock face or a cliff and either divert existing water sources or enhance them to focus the water in one area.

    Before they can start growing their crop, they must make sure that their equipment is in working order. They also have to “deveg” the local area, pruning vegetation and shrubbery that has grown up over the summer.

    The actual ice-making process begins by running water through the drains to saturate the cliffs so that the ground becomes colder so that it can bond with the ice that will begin to grow. Shower heads placed at various intervals are set to either a light or a heavy spray, to encourage different kinds of ice growth, based on need.

    The water used is runoff water, or overflow water from the city's water supply. That water can start running around November 20th and it can take up to a month and sometimes more before the ice is safe and sustainable enough to open to the public for climbing.

    If not for the climbing park, Ouray would be a ghost town during the winter. Before the ice park began to take off in the 90s, there was little to no economy. As the park grew and became more popular, a thriving tourism trade grew up along with it. Local businesses and the community as a whole rely heavily on the ice park to keep them going through the winter months.

  6. This Generation's Willy Wonka of Food and Invention

    Whether you've only seen the Gene Wilder or the Johnny Depp version or both, Willy Wonka had it going on when it came to inventing candy. Well, there's someone out to claim the title. He's invented things from Viagra ice-cream to levitating cocktails. No wonder people are drawing comparisons between the two.

    Charlie Harry Francis is the man behind such inventions as Edible Mist Orbs, Glow-in-the-Dark Ice Cream, and most recently, an Edible Fragrance Factory. With such incredible creations, no wonder people are drawing comparisons between the award-winning food inventor and Willy Wonka.

    From his humble beginnings on an ice cream farm in South Wales, U.K., Charlie has always been fascinated by the unknown. Like most inventors, his main thought was if no one else is doing it, why don't I do it?

    In 2011, he set up his own company, “Lick Me, I'm Delicious.” His premise? Creating, in his living room of all places, an ice cream bar that uses advanced liquid nitrogen to create ice cream for up to 1,500 people instantly.

    A Levitating Cocktail Machine?

    Charlie is responsible for the world's first levitating cocktail machine, which sold in 2014 for $42,000. He experimented with drones and columns of air before discovering sound. He found out that 40 watts of sound could levitate liquid. He teamed with Bruce Drinkwater, professor of engineering at Bristol University to build a machine capable of levitating a potent drop of alcohol in the air to be licked.

    His current project involves infusing flavor into bubbles. It hasn't been an easy project – infusing flavor into a thin film of liquid wasn't meant to be easy. However, after doing research himself on everything from compressed gas and CO2, as well as some unique bubble blowing contraptions, he's closer than ever. He's now turning thoughts to flavors. He's considering the mundane, like raspberry, and the outlandish, like baked beans.

    His most unique invention, however, did not come from a personal brainstorm. It came from a celebrity request. Charlie, however, signed a non-disclosure agreement. He made Viagra-infused ice cream for the nameless client. To top that off? He infused the ice cream with a champagne flavor.

    We hope that Charlie continues to rock the gourmet food world with his inventions. Move over Willy Wonka. Charlie's taking over.

  7. Girl Scout Cookies and Cocktails

    With spring just around the corner, it's getting warmer and that means two things. Girl Scout cookies and iced drinks are about to become the thing to eat and drink. Instead of a cold class of milk with your Do-Si-Dos, why not try a few of these unique and tasty cocktails instead? Feed your childhood and your adult appetites at once.

    First, you'll want tastes that complement, not mirror, the tastes of the cookies that you're serving the cocktails with. If you like Caramel deLights (formerly Samoas), pair them with this tasty iced cocktail. The rum pairs well with the chocolate and the coconut of the cookies.

    Hola Arepa's “We Surfed Here” Cocktail

    2 oz Brugal Anejo Rum
    ¾ oz grapefruit juice
    ½ oz lime juice
    ¾ oz cinnamon syrup
    3 dashes habanero bitters

    Shake all ingredients over ice and then strain into an iced Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

    Hola Arepa's “Tea Time”

    2 oz Bulleit Rye
    ½ oz Earl Grey Tea syrup*
    ½ oz Fernet Branca
    2 dashes Angostura Bitters

    *To make the Earl Grey Tea Syrup: steep Earl Grey Tea in 1 cup hot water until ready. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar, bring to a boil, stir until dissolved.

    Stir all of your ingredients over ice until chilled. Then, strain and serve in a wine glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon peel after expressing over the cocktail.

    Any one of these chilled cocktails can help to cool you off as it begins to warm up. Pairing them with the Girl Scout Cookies while relaxing in the yard only makes it that much better.

    Enjoy!

    Hola Arepa has come from humble beginnings as a food truck to being one of the most popular Minneapolis restaurant and bar locations.

     

  8. Ice-Preserved Mummy Recreated with 3D Printing

    A famous 5,300 year old Iceman mummy, perhaps better known by his nickname of “Ötzi", because he was found in the Ötzal Alps by hikers in 1991, has now been recreated by making use of 3D printing technology.

    Because Ötzi is the oldest European natural mummy, he has to be kept at a constant icy temperature at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy in order to avoid damaging or degrading him in any way.

    How 3D Printing Saved the Day

    Being locked away in an icy vault has kept him from the curious eyes of the public who are interested in learning more about Ötzi. In the interests of making the Iceman mummy more accessible to the general public, the Dolan DNA Learning Center commissioned museum artist Gary Staab (http://www.staabstudios.com/) to recreate Ötzi by making use of CAT Scans and 3D printing techniques. After approximately 2000 hours of intense work, Staab and his team were able to recreate every detail of Ötzi, down to the textures of skin that look very life-like.

    For the process of scanning, Staab was the only one who was allowed to touch Ötzi and only for a very limited amount of time. Staab had to wear scrubs and other precautions to avoid contaminating Ötzi with his own DNA.

    Once the scans were completed, Staab worked with Belgian 3D printing company Materialise (http://www.materialise.com/) to turn the scans into a 3D printed model that could be used to make an exact replica of the mummy. Because of the nature of the CAT scans, many of the finer details could not be recreated by the printer. Details such as the skin, portions of the mummy that had been damaged and the hands had to be recreated through sculpting and painting techniques done by Staab and his team.

    The startlingly real-looking replica of the Iceman mummy is now on display at the DNA Learning Center, while a second replica mummy will be a part of an exhibition that will travel to various museums before he is finally displayed at the Tyrol Museum in Italy. Plans for a third replica mummy to be displayed in New York are also planned.

  9. Cocktail Competition by Ice-O-Matic

    Do you think you can rock a bar? Can you craft unique and appetizing cocktails of your own design? Are you the type of mixologist that likes to experiment to hone your craft? If you answered yes, then you might have what it takes to win Ice-O-Matic's contest.

    In a competition spanning the U.K., leading manufacturer Ice-O-Matic is looking for the “coolest” cocktail bartender. The leading ice-machine manufacturer is hosting a contest to search for the most creative and innovative mixologists the U.K. has to offer.

    What's the Prize?

    The winner of the “Cocktails on Ice” competition will receive a stay for two at the famous Icehotel for two nights. They'll also get to spend two days in Sweden.

    The contest is open to anyone age 18 and older currently working in the hospitality industry inside the U.K. Hopefuls must first register their interest at www.cocktailsonice.com. They then must submit a 90-second video of their cocktail making prowess along with three recipes. One of these recipes must feature a unique or innovative use of ice.

    Entrants will then be whittled down to the final six contestants. They will participate in the Grand Live Finals at Imbibe Live! In London on July 4th and 5th.

    For full rules and contest details, visit www.cocktailsonice.com.

  10. Making Cocktail Ice Balls

    Sometimes you've just got to step up your bartending skills. You could be like Tom Cruise in that movie and toss around bottles of alcohol. Or, you could skillfully carve ice into various shapes for your cocktails. Or, you could learn this technique.

    Making a cocktail ice ball isn't as difficult as it looks. You'll just need a few tools and some patience.

    How to do it

    Tools:

    • Seasoning injector/syringe
    • Small hammer
    • Small funnel
    • Standard ice ball mold
    • Soldering iron (not necessary, but makes things easier)

    Procedure:

    1. Fill your ice ball mold with tap or filtered water and place into the freezer.
    2. Freeze it so that just about ¼ centimeter of the shell is frozen..
    3. Halfway through the freezing process, flip the mold around so that it freezes evenly.
    4. If you're using your soldering iron, plug it in now to get it warm.
    5. Remove the ice ball mold from the freezer and run cold water over it to loosen it.
    6. Use the soldering iron to melt and pierce the top of the ice ball. Make sure the hole is big enough for the funnel to fit.
    7. Use the seasoning injector/syringe to remove the remaining water from the ice ball.
    8. Store the ice balls inside a container in your freezer until ready for use. Make sure that the hole is facing upwards.
    9. When ready, prepare your favorite cocktail or spirit.
    10. Use the funnel to pour your cocktail or spirit inside the ice ball.
    11. Garnish the top of the hole according to taste.
    12. Once served, crack the ice ball with the hammer.
    13. Enjoy!

    Making these ice ball cocktails is a bit of a labor intensive process, but it will no doubt astound and entertain your guests.

    You can view a video of the process here.

     

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