The Best Types of Ice Cubes for Bars and Cocktail Lounges

Reading Time: 4 minutes Food Service - Restaurants/Bars

Types of Ice Easy Ice

Believe it or not, a lot of planning goes into designing ice cubes! Companies create different types of ice cubes with several shapes and textures, and each style is meant to appeal to various bar and restaurant settings.

Whether you own a high-volume sports bar or a specialty cocktail lounge, the type of cube you choose can help save money or create the best presentation for a high-end drink.   

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best types of ice cubes for high-volume and high-end bars.  

Finding the Right Ice for Sports Bars, Clubs, and Other Types of Bars 

Sports bars and nightclubs serve a lot of customers. Generally, patrons want their drinks served quickly so they can get back to eating, socializing, or watching the game.

3 ice cubes

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Smaller bars have similar challenges. These bars often have one bartender managing a small space, but when the bar gets packed they need to get drinks out fast.

Best types of ice for neighborhood bars and night clubs

When it gets busy, your staff can lose a lot of product to overpours, splash backs, and spills.   

Hoshizaki’s crescent cube, officially called the KM cube, easily addresses the needs of high-volume bars.   

Hoshizaki’s KM cubes have a unique crescent shape that fills more of the glass. Since they’re flat on one side and rounded on the other, they group together better than traditional square cubes. Their solid structure also means they don’t freeze together. By taking up more space, drinks look fuller, which keeps customers happy and prevents bartenders from overpouring.   

Crescent cubes also prevent splashing. Their round shape allows liquid to cascade over them—meaning more liquid in the glass and less on the bar.   

Although crescent cubes sacrifice flashiness for functionality, they’re still solid and clear. This gives them a nice look and a slow melting time, making them great cocktail ice cubes from a functional perspective.  

Crescent cubes are unique to Hoshizaki industrial ice machines. Easy Ice offers a full line of Hoshizaki models with a wide range of ice production rates and bin capacities. They come in all sizes to fit any establishment, with ice bins that hold anywhere from 250–1800 lbs. of ice. 

Best Types of Ice for Cocktail Lounges and Whiskey Bars 

Cocktail lounges and whiskey bars specialize in serving high-end drinks to customers with discriminating tastes. For these establishments, presentation is paramount. Owners often want a solid, symmetrical cube or specialty ice sphere that elevates the look of their cocktails.  

3 ice cubes

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First, let’s discuss presentation.   

Square cubes and ice spheres look great in lowball glasses. It is a classic cube design for timeless drinks like an Old Fashioned, Sazerac, or a scotch on the rocks.

Square cubes also stack nicely in tall, slender highball glasses. They stack from bottom to the top of the glass, guaranteeing drinks are consistently chilled. They’re perfect for, say, a Tom Collins or a Gin and Tonic.

Best types of ice for cocktail lounge and whisky bar

When square and spherical cocktail ice are dispensed in a bin, they tend to form fission cracks. These small cracks refract light in fascinating patterns and look wonderful in bourbons and dark rums.    

Now, let’s focus on functionality.

Large square cubes and ice spheres are larger, which is a must-have for whiskey and bourbon drinkers. No serious scotch drinker wants their drink served with crushed ice, because it melts quickly and can water down the drink. These specialty cubes melt much slower, effectively cooling the drink but keeping the taste intact.   

Hoshizaki offers a square cube that is the perfect option for high-end bar owners. Keep in mind, these cubes are not “perfect” cubes. They have dimensions of 1-inch x 1-inch x 1 ¼ inch, which is close but not perfectly symmetrical. 

They also offer a one-of-a-kind commercial ice sphere maker, the IM-50BAA-Q which produces entire batches of ice spheres that are 1.8″ in diameter.

These cubes also have a 1-centimeter “dimple.” It is a small divot but can surprise some bar owners when they first see it. 

IM series square ice machine models and the IM-50BAA-Q do have a smaller production capacity than crescent machines. For instance, a Hoshizaki IM 500SAA (their largest stackable square cube model) only produces 500 pounds of ice a day, and the IM-50BAA-Q makes 50 lbs. While this amount is enough for most high-end cocktail lounges, larger establishments may have to install more than one unit. You will also have to secure an extra bin or upgrade to a larger bin if you plan on stacking these machines on top of one another.  

Whether you operate a casual neighborhood bar, a dance club, or a high-end cocktail lounge, the type of ice you use in your drinks can impact your success.  Let us help you determine the right type of ice for your business and help you get your ice the Easy Way! ℠ Learn more about our managed ice machine rentals or call 866-easyice today!

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