Ice is food. Yes, we've heard it time and time again in the foodservice industry, and we agree. We should pay more attention to our ice, particularly as it relates to clean, sanitary, and safe ice. But ice is much more than food.
Ice is also art. Actually, clear ice is art. And once high-end cocktail consumers are used to seeing clear cubes or spheres in their cocktail glasses, it's almost impossible to NOT notice when your ice is cloudy.
So that brings us to the question. What can clear ice do for your beverage program? We'll get to the final answer here in a minute, but first some science.
Clear ice is going to be large format ice 99.9 percent of the time, meaning instead of a bunch of smaller cubes, a cocktail is served over one large cube. When ice is larger in volume, it impacts the dilution rate of the ice, which in turn changes the aromas and flavor profiles of the cocktail.
In order to control dilution rate, we have to lower the volume to surface area ratio. The larger the ice, the lower this ratio, and by lowering it, the beverage enjoys more ice to actually cool the drink with a lower surface area that will dilute and water it down.
So yes, there are some practical reasons for large format ice (which, for the most part, clear ice tends to be). But there's more.
As we mentioned, clear ice adds an amazing aesthetic to any cocktail, and as more and more cocktail bars provide clear ice, more and more guests notice when their ice is cloudy. This is where we really get to the essence of our initial question.
Clear ice is more profitable.
Whether an operation is investing in the equipment and labor required to create clear ice on site, or whether they're utilizing a clear ice manufacturer, the care and consideration taken to provide an ice program results in profitability.
By showing consideration for high-quality ice, an operation can charge a significantly higher price for that cocktail on the menu. In some cases, 20 to 25 percent higher.
Ice is certainly not the only aesthetic, though. In addition to what goes in the glass, there's also the glass itself. A crystal-clear, two by two large format cube looks a lot better in a shimmering, crystal rocks glass. If you're taking care to provide good ice, taking care to serve it in a stunning glass is just as important.
BasucherHepp can help, with the Mixology collection from Luigi Bormioli.
Nothing says stunning like Italian-styled glassware that is designed specifically for high-end cocktails and mixology-minded applications. If you want to see what beauty can look like, check out the spectacular images in the Luigi Bormioli Mixology Guide, and discover some inspiration of your own.