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3 Essential Ice Shapes for High-End Cocktails

Bar professionals have always known that ice in a cocktail is not just for cooling, nor is its shape only about aesthetics. Ice is part of the life and soul of a drink.

Controlled dilution is a main part of the equation. Bar professionals with a real passion for the art of cocktail making have always known that because of how ice impacts experience.

The great thing is that now customers, too, have started to take notice. And we don’t just refer to the importance of ice, but also its shape. Just like each type of beverage has as ideal glass size and shape, the same can be said for ice.

Here are three ice shapes trending across the United States:

CUBES

Large cubes. Classic two-inch by two-inch rocks are twice the size of standard cubes, and they’re usually better for your cocktails. A larger cube sitting in the middle of a glass is a stunning effect in itself. And they melt slower, which enhances flavors and aromas. It’s a very well-known principle in the cocktail world: Larger cubes have less surface in contact with the liquid, so the heat exchange (and the melting) happens slower.

SPEARS

Perhaps more aptly named, they’re called Collins spears. Though standard one-inch by one-inch cubes have always done a great job with highball drinks served in Collins glasses, ice spears are a newer and better option. Not only can consumers get the same benefits from slower dilution rates, but a small, clear monolith of ice just looks great in a Gin & Tonic.

SPHERES

Clear ice spheres or ice balls look cool, and for your classic, old-style whiskey or cocktails that rely heavily on spirits that are not watered down, ice spheres can be a better choice than cubes. Compared to a cube of the same volume, a sphere will have a smaller surface area meaning slower dilution rates.

And ice just got a bit more sophisticated than it used to be! Bartenders now use different shapes and need them all within arm’s reach. To eliminate situations where the freezer is too far from the bar, Perlick has added an Ice Vault to the Tobin Ellis Signature Cocktail Station!

Perlick’s Ice Vault designed by Tobin Ellis is the only product on the market that is NSF certified for the storage and preparation of craft ice and mixers. Perlick has been thinking about our foodservice partners during the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are continuing to work on new products that will make jobs easier as bars and restaurants continue to navigate this challenging time.