Jam Inn’s Ice in Bristol sell crystal clear block ice but how do you use it in your cocktail bar?
There has been a big trend in the past few years for cocktail bars around the world to be using crystal clear block ice in cocktails. Block ice is created in a totally different way to your standard ice cubes that bar commonly use. At Jam Inns Ice we start the process using a machine that slowly freezes huge blocks of ice 140kg per block over the course of 3 – 4 days. Making block ice is time consuming & highly labour intense but the end result is the most beautiful ice you’ve ever seen.
So it’s ice right, what’s the big deal? well it’s not just ascetically pleasing to see a beautiful clear lump of ice in your drink, it’s all part of the showmanship that sets bars apart in the world of cocktails with not only the wow factor but showing the detail matters & crucially having a slow melting large lump of ice adds less dilution to your cocktail or high value spirit, so there is a genuine reason why this ice is preferable.
Can I not just freeze a block in my own freezer & chop it down? Not really on any genuine volume & if you do it’s almost guaranteed to turn out cloudy. The cloudy effect in the ice is air getting trapped in the ice, the technique we professionally use to create block ice removes the air from the blocks which makes the ice last longer. By just having a large cloudy lump in a drink it defeats the genuine purpose of using the block ice in the first place. You will also find the labour time for you to try to make block ice will be superseded by simply buying in a high quality slab from our factory.
What is the best way to buy block ice? These options really come down to budget. Block ice is labour intense in the production so after the 3-4 days it takes to make the ice, then it has to be cut down using a chainsaws, bandsaws & hand held saws, for this reason it’s understandably more expensive than standards crushed or cubed ice we sell in 10kg bags. If budget is the biggest concern the best way to buy is by weight in slabs (middle right picture at top).
- Slabs By Weight: You let us know in KG how much you want & we cut slabs to the weight, this is by far the cheapest option. Then in your bars you can use chippers, knives & hand saws to cut down individually for each drink, also adding theatre to the customer. We sell the slabs & recommend these rather than big blocks because they are much easier for bartenders to work with a slab that’s roughly the thickness you want instead of chopping into a massive block as this creates a huge amount of wastage.
- 2″ Cubes: The large 2″ cubes are the most common end product shape & size cocktail bars like for high end spirits, whiskeys, rums & cocktails in general. Cocktails like a Negroni now really should be made with a large lump of block ice. Due to the added labour to cut these small blocks by hand these do cost more than buying by the slab. The consideration here is labour & wastage vs cost & if this is the best option for your bar.
- Custom Size Cuts: We can cut block ice to your size & spec, this will be the most expensive option but you get a custom product just for your bar. Let us know what you’re thinking & we can help price up your project for you.
- Branded Ice: Pictured at the bottom of the above picture you can see our company branding on ice cubes & ice balls. This is using an ice stamp. These can be ordered online through various overseas suppliers & you can then brand your ice cubes really easily & quickly by simply pressing the stamp on the ice.
How long will it take for delivery? Block ice is all custom made to order for clients. Due to it taking 3-4 days simply to produce the blocks this is an advanced order product. If for example you want 500 2″ cubes this will take considerable labour time to then also cut down to size so we recommend working around 1 week ahead for slabs by weight, 2 weeks ahead for 2″ cubes & custom cuts up to 100 pieces & then anything over 100 pieces of custom size cuts we recommend a 4 week lead time (if in doubt just drop us an email).
How to order? Drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org & tell us where your located, how much your looking for & as much detail as possible so we can price up your requirements. Due to our clients working 24hrs a day often during the late night in the hospitality industry the best & quickest form of communication is via email. This also insures for custom orders there is no mistakes on requirements & expectations.
Thank you for reading,
Team Jam Inns XXXX
Jam Inns Ice in Bristol is the South Wests largest ice supplier, catering for bars, airports, stadiums, festivals, weddings & events through the South West & South Wales. Our core business is selling 10kg bags of cubed or crushed ice, see website for more details.