Ice-O-Matic recently introduced the Grande Cube Ice Machine, and we think it’s worth considering over large cubes or spheres of artisanal ice.
The perfect cocktail needs the perfect ice. Especially for spirit-forward concoctions like a Negroni or Old Fashioned. Large ice cubes melt slower, protecting the dignity of top shelf ingredients. Plus, they just look super swell. Many bartenders and mixologists are exploring the world of artisanal (ginormous) ice cubes for their craft cocktails. If you’re considering investing in an artisanal ice-making service, or using ice molds, consider looking into an Ice-O-Matic Grande Cube Ice Machine instead. A Grande cube measures 1 ¼ inch (W) x 1 1/8 in (D) x 7/8 in (H). So no, it’s not the size of a baseball and won’t be hand-chiseled by your bartender – but that’s why we like it.
Artisan ice needs to be either ordered from a specialized ice maker, hand-chiseled by a bartender, or made using a silicon mold. Silicon molds could work for those smaller bars making a few craft cocktails each night, but keep in mind that your ice could start to take on the flavors and aromas of any other food product in your freezer. Not to mention that for the most part, using molds or hand chiseling (although it looks cool) can really be a time suck for busy bartenders. On the other hand, ordering ice from an artisan ice maker not only requires one to be close enough to deliver, but it also isn’t what we consider an energy efficient process. Most artisan ice makers in the United States use what’s called a Clinebell machine, which create those massive blocks used by ice sculptors at galas and weddings. A Clinebell machine freezes water from the bottom up, and continues to churn the water on top that has yet to be frozen, thus eliminating any bubbles and impurities. It takes the Clinebell three days to produce two (2) 300-pound blocks of ice. That’s the same amount (or less) ice than one Ice-O-Matic machine can produce in just one day. Some would say that this doesn’t quite add up to an energy efficient way of producing ice.
Lucky for you, the Ice-O-Matic ICE0856 Grande Ice Cube Ice Machine can produce up to 875 pounds of Grande ice cubes each day, and is ENERGY STAR® certified. It gains this efficiency rating from using a dual pass evaporator plate technology that more evenly distributes cooling throughout the machine, allowing it to run on less energy. Better yet, this dual pass process creates a layering effect that doesn’t form air bubbles and allows the machine to form a consistent, even-shaped, crystal clear Grande cube. Add to this a small footprint (30 inches wide) and a harvest assist that cuts down on energy consumption, and you have yourself a gourmet ice machine that produces more, wastes less energy, and costs less than its artisanal ice alternatives. Granted, these cubes are smaller than the artisan form, but bartenders are raving about the clarity, larger size, and the convenience of being able to scoop them straight out of an ice bin.
We love how the Grande cubes look in a spirit forward cocktail, like an Old Fashioned, and the slow melt really helps capture the nuances of a top-shelf scotch, since melted ice isn’t watering down the taste and aroma. But we also love how Ice-O-Matic Grande Cubes look in just about anything – iced coffee, a Shirley Temple – you name it. No matter what you’re serving, these versatile and eye-catching ice cubes could bring your beverage program from “Check, please!” to “I’ll have another!”Shop All Ice Machines from Ice-O-Matic