Ice is a crucial component to every cocktail; from beginning to end. Ice can make or break your cocktail. For starters, a lot of ice is required when making a drink, even if none of it ends up in the glass with the cocktail. It’s used not only to chill a beverage, but also to properly dilute it. To finish, ice is used to maintain a constant cold temperature to your cocktail.

The concept of quality ice started in the 1805. Frederic Tudor, the man who was dubbed the Ice King, shipped ice from the lakes of Massachusetts all over the globe. It was considered a luxury to have your drink served with “Tudor Ice.”

Jerry Thomas, the first barman to publish a book on mixing, recognized the importance of ice. Working in bars in California and New York in the late 19th century, Thomas published The Bartender’s Guide, also known as How to Mix Drinks or A Bon Vivant’s Companion.

Thomas’ rules on ice are still relevant today. He says: “As a general rule, shaved ice should be used when spirits form the principal ingredient of the drink, and no water is employed. When eggs, mild, wine, vermouth, seltzer or other mineral waters are used ... it is better to use small lumps of ice ...

Now that you understand what ice does, where it started, and the importance of it in a cocktail lets now talk about the different kinds of ice:

King Cube or Sphere

Cubes and spheres are what you’ll typically find in most cocktail bars these days. Perfect for constantly cold temperatures and less dilution, in either form this ice is great for a high-end spirit or a cocktail in a rocks glass. Try them in an Old Fashioned or Negroni. Look at our W&P King Cube Ice or Tovolo Clear Ice Systems.

Perfect Cubes

These cubes can be used when shaking or stirring your drink.  As opposed to regular ice cubes that are thinner and melt faster, the cubes stack nicely in the glassware and won’t melt as fast. Look at our W&P Everyday Ice.


Offering a pretty piece of ice is ideal for a taller glass (think Collins or Highball) to show off its height and form, this larger chunk of ice works well with drinks that do not require much dilution.  You don’t see them in use much but they have great eye appeal and function.


Perfect for Tiki, Juleps, and your next Mojito. Crushed ice can be made two ways. The more strenuous method is to put freezer ice into a bag and whack at it with a mallet or a muddler until it is crushed to your preference.  The easier way is to use your refrigerator machine or one of the best consistent methods is the W&P Crushed Ice.

Trick for Clear ice

  • Use filtered water
  • Boil the water, let it cool, then fill the mold(s) or tray(s).

 Who knew something so simple as frozen water could have so many uses, intent, and abilities??


Muddle & Stir

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published