Gourmet Ice

  1. Manitowoc SM-50A Gourmet Undercounter Ice Machine

    When you have a high-end scotch or whiskey or any other beverage, the last thing you want is your final few sips to be watered down. You also don't want the tastes that can come with other kinds of ice to mingle with your drink. Gourmet style ice prevents just that. It is larger, denser, and clearer than other types of ice. This means that it melts slower for less dilution and does not impart tastes or odors into the beverage.

    The Manitowoc SM-50A ice machine produces an octagonal gourmet style ice cube. As it produces up to 53-lbs of ice per day, it is best served for home and executive suite uses. The built-in bin can store up to 24 pounds of ice when filled to capacity. The ice produced is crystal clear, cold, and hard as it is comprised almost entirely of water.

    Features of the Manitowoc SM-50A

    The bin is lit with an LED light. In addition, the unit features a larger open area for easier access to the ice inside. Stainless steel composition provides the unit with easy cleaning. Removable parts also aid in easing the cleaning process.

    The unit is air-cooled, meaning water savings versus water cooled ice machines. The front intake and discharge vent equals installation opportunities between existing appliances as no side clearances are needed. The unit requires a standard 115-volt power supply. It uses only 11.89 kWh of electricity and 48 gallons of water for every 100-lbs of ice produced.

    A programmable ice production function allows for customization and further energy savings.

    Manitowoc provides a 3-year commercial and labor warranty. It also provides a 1-year residential warranty for those who use the machine in the home.

    Whether for use in an executive suite or in your personal home, the Manitowoc SM-50A produces an exceptional ice cube for your exceptional clients, customers, guests, as well as yourself.

  2. How to Create Superior Ice at Home

    Ice at HomeIf you're a cocktail connoisseur and you've tried to tend bar at home you know how fun and frustrating it can be, especially getting the ice just right. Ice to bartender is like fire to a chef. It's indispensable. But the ice you see in bars is often clear, very cold, and very hard. Your ice cube trays often make ice that is very cloudy, soft, and melts fast. What gives?

    The answer is impurities. Tap water has a lot of chemicals, trapped gases, and even some minerals from your pipes. Professional ice machines use a water filtration system to get rid of most of this, which is why your bartender's ice looks a lot nicer than yours. However, there's also some special chemistry involved to make the best cubes. There are ways to make clear ice yourself at home if you are willing to take some special steps.

    What doesn't work

    First, we should talk about what doesn't work. Some people suggest boiling the water. While this does drive off excess gases, it doesn't get rid of any tiny solid particles where an ice crystal can form. It is these interior ice crystals that give ice a cloudy look. Others recommend using distilled water which has the opposite problem. There may be no particles but there can still be gases.

    So is boiled distilled water the answer? Unfortunately not. Even though boiling can drive off flavors like chlorine, water takes back oxygen from the atmosphere quickly. So what is the secret? It's how you freeze it.

    What's cold got to do with it?

    They way to get your ice to be clear is to freeze it slowly enough so that it drives out the impurities. When ice is frozen fast, several things happen. First, the gases don't have a chance to escape. The ice will freeze around it and leave lots of tiny bubbles inside. Second, fast freezing promotes the formation of tiny ice crystals. Slower freezing makes larger and clearer crystals. Third, ice and liquid water have very different densities even at the same temperature. It's part of the reason why water expands when it is frozen. This uneven freezing also controls cloudiness and density.

    So, the short answer to how to make clear ice yourself at home is to find a way to freeze your ice as slowly as possible. Ideally, you want your freezer to be at about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, gases will have a chance to migrate out while the core crystals form. The slower freezing also helps control density changes that can cloud your ice up or make it soft. It is still best to use filtered water as well just so the water has less of a chance to form seed crystals around dissolved minerals.

    If you have a small dorm freezer lying around, set it on its warmest setting and then measure the temperature at different parts of the refrigerator. You want to find something around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take your ice a lot longer to freeze at this temperature, but it will happen. If you don't have a dorm freezer you could insulate your ice cube trays but that can be tricky because most freezers are much colder than 30 degrees.

    There are other methods to making clear ice at home, but this is the simplest one to try. One other  technique uses insulation materials, large molds, and popsicle sticks to force trapped gases to the top part of the cube. The cloudy part is melted off. You can find this method at www.alcademics.com.

    Why use it?

    Its main purpose is to add class and beauty to mixed drinks. Clear cubes also melt slower than regular ice cubes, which means your drink gets less watered. If you and your friends are drinking something that should be sipped, a dense cube can make all the difference between a watered down drink and a drink that tastes as good as when you started.

    Try making some clear ice a few days before your next cocktail party using the slow freeze technique and let us know how it goes.

  3. Artisanal Ice Continues to Grow in Popularity

    Artisanal IceArtisanal ice is getting more attention in mainstream media. Wired published an article last month talking about the popularity of this cool treat and how bartenders are using it. They talk about some pretty impressive machinery in the article.

    Clinebell Equipment Company makes ice machines for big cubes of ice. We don’t mean 2 inch cubes. We mean 2-4 foot cubes. The machine talked about in the article, the CB300X2E makes just two cubes at a time, but each cube has forty gallons of water a piece in them. It takes three days to make two cubes of clear dense ice!

    These big cubes are the basic building blocks for large-scale artisanal ice creation. Ice artists saw and sculpt the ice into flakes, cubes, and sphere for different purposes. Bartenders take these creations and use them for top-quality drinks. This type of ice is preferred because it makes the drink very cold and because the cubes melt slower. Some bartenders have even started using digital thermometers to measure the perfect, to them, amount of cold in a drink before serving.

    While we don’t sell giant cubers, we do have machines that can make small cubes of clear dense artisanal ice for your bar or restaurant.  The market for this kind of ice is small right now, but if this kind of ice becomes more popular expect ice makers to build more gourmet ice machine models.

  4. How Bartenders Raise Their Game

    bartender bar When we think of bars and bartending, it’s only natural to think about Tom Cruise in Cocktail (for the trendy set) or Guinan from Ten Forward (for the more geeky set).  In both cases, going to the bar offered a relaxing experience to the people who set foot through the doors.  Bartenders serve as the focal point for the bar; they're the people who are responsible for making sure every aspect of bar is in check and on point.

    This means that it’s no longer simply about the alcohol and the mixer that gets put in the drink.  To rise to the necessary experience, one might try introducing gourmet ice cubes into the mix, introducing new handcrafted bitters into the mix, or rethinking the garnishes that are added to the drinks themselves.  By elevating those drinks, bartenders are able to not only command more cash, but provide a better user experience.

    Adding that focus to garnishes turns ordinary drinks into extraordinary.  Take the Baiser Framboise as mentioned in Nightclub.com’s article titled ‘Garnishes in their Glory.’ “We dehydrate the raspberry because you’re taking all the moisture out, so when you add it back in it’s alcohol, so it’s a much more concentrated flavor.  And once you’re finished the drink you’re left with the raspberry so it’s the little extra pop at the end.”  These types of drinks were unheard of only a few years ago.

    There’s also the focus on using local fruits and vegetables as garnishes, using a clear icemaker to really pep up the drinks, and specialty liquors and liqueurs.  As a result of this value add.. bartenders everywhere are asking themselves how they can up their game.

  5. Crush Some Ice for Granitas

    crushed ice Bars need different kinds ice for different drinks. A whiskey on the rocks may need a full cube or two, but others may need crushed ice or shaved ice. Ice melts and cools at different rates depending on the size of the ice. Many smaller pieces will melt and cool faster than large ones. Skilled bartenders take into account the melting rate of ice so that a drinker will enjoy a smooth drink that’s not too watery due to melt but not too harsh either.

    For bartenders that enjoy experimentation, we have a machine for you. The Omcan Triton 17137 ice shaver can take a standard ice cube and shave it to particular sizes. It has a 2 liter bowl capacity and 1500 RPM blades. The maximum cube size it can create is 10 mm, but it can crush ice fine enough to make classic Italian granitas.

    Think about the fun your customers will have eating alcoholic granitas, and the profits your bar will receive from having such an interesting item on the menu. Plus having a machine that can make you all the kinds of ice you need for your bar. Take a look at the Omcan Triton 17137 and let us know what you think.

  6. The Scotsman CU0515GA-1

    Gourmet Ice We have a fascination with gourmet ice. Clear, solid cubes of ice are far more attractive in a drink than ice from the gas station. Gourmet ice also melts much slower and keeps drinks colder longer, a benefit when drinking alcohol. How can you get your hands on this kind of ice?

    Try the Scotsman CU0515GA-1 Air-Cooled 84 LB Gourmet Ice Undercounter Ice Machine. This machine is perfect for any bar that wants high-quality ice. This self-contained machine can produce 84 pounds of ice per day and hold 24 pounds at a time in the integrated bin. It is made of stainless steel and quite attractive to the eye, and at only 28” high it can fit in many places other ice machines cannot. The legs are also height-adjustable.

    This machine is air-cooled, which reduces the amount of water waste compared to a water-cooled machine. It uses 37 gallons of water for every 100 pounds of ice. It comes with a seven foot power cord as well. We also sell all accessories for this machine, including filters, cleaning product, sanitizing product, and descaling equipment. And it also comes with a three years parts and labor warranty on all components and a five year parts warranty on the compressor and condenser.

    Once you’ve had gourmet ice, you’ll definitely want it for your customer’s drinks. Give our machine a try. Call our sales reps for more information about how you can get the Scotsman CU0515GA-1.

  7. CNC Ice Cubes?

    CNC-Milled-Ice-Suntory-5 We’ve talked a lot about gourmet ice cubes on this blog, but a Japanese ad agency is forcing us to step up our game! Japanese ad company TBWA\Hakuhodo wanted to run an ad campaign for the whiskey distillery Suntory. They used a CNC machine to carve blocks of ice into tiny intricate ice cubes for their glasses.

    They have made 24 of the sculptures in all. Several were selected from people who gave the company ideas of what to carve and got to enjoy their own drink of Suntory whiskey with their specialized ice sculpture. Lest you think that this is going to be the next big thing in ice though, the process currently takes anywhere from 1-6 hours for a single cube, and it requires that the CNC machine be cooled to 19 degrees to keep the CNC bit from melting the ice.

    You can view many of the ice cubes from the link. A large bit is used to carve out the rough shape, then a finer bit is used for the details. A splash of whiskey at the end gives the cube a shiny surface. Shapes include a scorpion, the Statue of Liberty, Kinkaku-Ji temple, even Mario and Mickey.

    Who knows? Maybe in a few years we will sell mini CNC machines so customers can get carved ice for their drinks. They’re certainly very beautiful. Take a look and see for yourself.

  8. How to Increase Bar Profits with Your Ice Machine

    Bar PictureIce machines are the silent (or perhaps not so silent if they need repair!) partners behind the bar.  They are always there, producing pound after pound of ice for mixed drinks and cold buckets of beer.  Whether you have an undercounter ice machine that produces full dice cubes or a gourmet ice machine (or both), it’s always there for you. 

    How can your bar’s ice machine make your bar more money?

    1. Increases the volume of drinks

    It’s a well-known fact that bartenders will use a little more ice in the drink so that they can use a little less alcohol.  There’s quite a fine line between a great drink and a watered down one, and as a bar or restaurant owner, it’s best to skirt that line whenever possible.

    1. Crushed ice for slushies

    If you don’t already have a Spaceman USA frozen slushy or margarita machine, you can use pearl ice and nugget ice to make delicious additions to your bar.  The best bartenders are always experimenting with new drinks. Why not think about slushies?

    1. Craft Sodas

    Craft sodas are an excellent way to increase the profits at your bar.  The gourmet ice that you add from the undercounter Hoshizaki or Ice-O-Matic enhances the bubbles immensely.  Besides, you already have soda water on hand.

    Everything within your bar, including the ice machine, has the potential of bringing you profit.  There’s nothing stopping you from creating new offerings that blow your patrons away.  

    Photo attribution

  9. How to Increase Bar Profits with Your Ice Machine

    Bar Picture Ice machines are the silent (or perhaps not so silent if they need repair!) partners behind the bar.  They are always there, producing pound after pound of ice for mixed drinks and cold buckets of beer.  Whether you have an undercounter ice machine that produces full dice cubes or a gourmet ice machine (or both), it’s always there for you. 

    How can your bar’s ice machine make your bar more money?

    1. Increases the volume of drinks

    It’s a well-known fact that bartenders will use a little more ice in the drink so that they can use a little less alcohol.  There’s quite a fine line between a great drink and a watered down one, and as a bar or restaurant owner, it’s best to skirt that line whenever possible.

    1. Crushed ice for slushies

    If you don’t already have a Spaceman USA frozen slushy or margarita machine, you can use pearl ice and nugget ice to make delicious additions to your bar.  The best bartenders are always experimenting with new drinks. Why not think about slushies?

    1. Craft Sodas

    Craft sodas are an excellent way to increase the profits at your bar.  The gourmet ice that you add from the undercounter Hoshizaki or Ice-O-Matic enhances the bubbles immensely.  Besides, you already have soda water on hand.

    Everything within your bar, including the ice machine, has the potential of bringing you profit.  There’s nothing stopping you from creating new offerings that blow your patrons away.  

    Photo attribution

  10. Absinthe Drinks for your Gourmet Ice Maker

    220px-Absinthe-glass Ice and exotic liquors go hand in hand, and there are very few liquors as exotic as absinthe.  There are several components which make up absinthe, including anise, fennel seed, and very small amounts of wormwood.

    Wormwood got a bad reputation for causing hallucinations and other dramatic effects among its drinkers because of the component thujone.  As a result of those perceived ill effects of wormwood, the United States decided to ban its creation and import since 1915.

    However, the thujone that was inside of the absinthe and the wormwood was later found to not be the cause of the hallucinogens and other effects.  Those old reports may have been indeed been exaggerated.  Our bartenders got absinthe back in 2007, and they’ve since come up with many recipes.

    As the ice machine people, we’ve got some recipes for your absinthe cocktails.  These are from varied sources, including Originalabsinthe.com and Epicurious.com.

    Traffic Light

    2 parts cranberry juice

    1 part orange juice

    1 part Absinthe Original

    Pour all of these carefully into a cocktail that is filled with gourmet ice.  If you choose, use some of the crushed ice or pearl ice.

    Absinthe Fizz

    1 ½ shots of Absinthe Original

    Juice of half of a lemon

    1 teaspoon sugar

    1 egg white

    Seltzer

    Shake the whole thing with full dice ice and strain into a highball glass.  Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer.

    Corrida

    1 shot absinthe original

    1 shot vodka

    1 can Red Bull

    Shake all of these ingredients with ice, then pour into a gourmet ice filled Collins glass.  This is one of those tasty recipes that you’ll want to make again and again.

    We’re all fond of the green fairy, and the ice that you put into the drink will make it all the better.  Have an excellent absinthe day! 

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