How Artisanal Ice Is Revolutionising Cocktail Culture
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In recent years, bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs have developed an appreciation for quality ice. Artisanal ice cubes with unique shapes, sizes and clarity have become popular accessories for craft cocktails. Specialised ice cube makers and brands have emerged to meet this demand for premium ice. Here are some of the leaders in artisanal ice cubes that you should know about.

Gläce Luxury Ice

Gläce Luxury Ice creates artisanal ice cubes for high-end establishments around the world. They produce perfectly clear, slow-melting ice cubes as well as unique shapes like spheres, diamonds, and spears. Gläce ice is made from purified water and each cube is hand-carved to ensure flawless clarity and quality. They frequently collaborate with renowned mixologists and brands to develop signature ice cubes and experiences. Gläce ice is considered the pinnacle of artisanal ice and is used at many prestigious bars and events.

Reddy Ice

Reddy Ice is America’s largest packaged ice company, supplying standard ice cubes to bars, restaurants and events across India. They also produce artisanal ice cubes like spheres, diamonds and custom shapes for craft cocktails. Reddy Ice aims to provide mixologists with a range of ice options to suit any drink.


Wintersmiths is an American company that produces the Wintersmiths Clear Ice System, which makes crystal-clear ice cubes up to 2.5 inches in diameter. Their system produces slow-melting ice spheres and large cubes that won’t dilute drinks as quickly as regular ice. Wintersmiths also offers moulds for making diamond-shaped ice cubes. They frequently collaborate with world-class bartenders to create signature ice cubes and moulds. 

Artisanal ice cubes allow you to elevate your cocktails with a memorable touch of creativity. Whether you prefer perfectly clear cubes, whimsical shapes or fruit-infused ice, there are many options to choose from. As artisanal ice becomes more popular, brands are innovating to offer unique products made from the highest quality ingredients. Discover how bespoke ice cubes can enhance your favourite drinks and transform your cocktail experience.

Beyond Cubes: Creative Ice Options

Artisanal ice makers are experimenting with unique shapes and add-ins beyond basic cubes. Here are some of the innovative ice options currently on the market:

Ice spheres: Perfectly round ice spheres are popular for serving premium spirits like whisky or brandy. They melt slowly while minimally diluting the drink. Several brands like Wintersmiths and Gläce offer moulds for making ice spheres at home.

Flavoured ice: Some companies like Reddy Ice produce flavoured ice cubes made from fruit juices, teas, coffees or floral infusions. Bartenders use flavoured ice to subtly enhance the taste of certain cocktails. You can also make flavoured ice cubes at home using leftover juice, tea or coffee.

Diamond or gem-shaped ice: Ice makers like Wintersmiths and Gläce Luxury Ice offer moulds for making diamonds, gemstones or other angular ice shapes. The geometric shapes add visual flair to cocktails. 

Crushed or shaved ice: Finely crushed or shaved ice has a light, fluffy texture. It is popular in cocktails like mint juleps, daiquiris and snow cones. Commercial ice crushers and shavers can produce crushed or shaved ice on demand for bars and events. At home, you can use a manual ice crusher or food processor to make crushed ice.

Liquid nitrogen ice: Flash-freezing cocktail ingredients or garnishes in liquid nitrogen creates a dramatic smoky effect and an unexpected icy texture. Liquid nitrogen ice is mostly used by innovative mixologists and bartenders at high-end establishments. It requires proper safety equipment and training to handle liquid nitrogen.

Molecular ice: Some mixologists use hydrocolloids like agar agar, carrageenan or gelatine to create unusual molecular ice shapes for cocktails. The hydrocolloids are set in moulds and then frozen to create jelly-like ice pieces. Molecular ice has an innovative, modernist appeal but requires advanced techniques to produce.

Artisanal ice has revolutionised cocktail culture by providing mixologists with a creative tool for enhancing both the taste and presentation of drinks. What began as simple frozen water has evolved into an art form as makers experiment with unique shapes, add-ins and technologies. The future of artisanal ice promises to be even more innovative as brands craft new multi-sensory experiences and sustainable products. For cocktail enthusiasts, artisanal ice is an accessible luxury that allows you to easily elevate your drinks at home. Whether you prefer the simplicity of crystal-clear cubes or the flair of flavoured spheres, there are many options to suit your tastes. 

In the span of just a few years, artisanal ice has revolutionised cocktails by providing an innovative tool for creative expression. What began as a niche trend for high-end bars has entered the mainstream as more people discover how premium ice transforms their drinks and at-home cocktail making. The artisanal ice movement highlights the mixology community's dedication to crafting memorable multi-sensory experiences that engage all the senses. With so much potential still left to explore, artisanal ice is poised to continue leading cocktail culture into an exciting new era of experimentation.