Type of Ice

Exploring 7 Different Types of Ice and Their Uses

Ice is a crucial element in many drinks and dishes, but not all ice is created equal. Different types of ice have different shapes, sizes, and uses. In the blog below, we will explore seven different types of ice and their unique characteristics and applications.

7 Types of Ice and Their Applications

Regular Cube

Regular cubes (also known as large cubes) are one of the most common types of ice found in drinks. They are typically made in large, square molds and have a solid, dense texture. Regular cubes are slow-melting, making them perfect for beverages that need to stay cold without getting watered down too quickly.

  • Size: 1 1/8" x 1 1/8" x 7/8"
  • Uses: Regular cubes are commonly used in cocktails, soft drinks, and iced coffee.
Regular Cube

Full Cube

Full ice cubes (also known as dice ice or square cubes) offer a uniform and clean appearance. Owing to their larger size and slower melting rate, full ice cubes provide the most cooling effect while lowering ice consumption costs. These work best for soft drinks and mixed drinks, as well as for bagging and dispensing ice. They are frequently found in caterers, restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.

  • Size: 7/8" x 7/8" x 7/8"
  • Uses: Full cubes are often used in high-end bars and restaurants for premium cocktails and spirits.
Full Cube

Half Cube

As the name suggests, half cubes are regular cubes that have been cut in half. They are smaller and more easily stackable than regular cubes, making them ideal for filling up a glass without taking up too much space. They are suitable for smoothie shops and for soft drinks, mixed drinks, and frozen cocktails because they provide maximum cooling without rapidly diluting drinks. 

  • Size: 7/8" x 7/8" x 3/8"
  • Uses: Half cubes are commonly used in soft drinks, iced tea, and blended drinks like smoothies and slushies.
Half Cube

Nugget Ice

Nugget ice, also known as tubular nugget ice, pebble ice, pellet ice, or “sonic” ice; is small, soft, and chewy in texture. It is made by freezing water in layers and then shaving it into small pieces. 

  • Size: 3/8"-1/2" in length and width, Bite-Sized
  • Uses: Nugget ice is commonly used in fountain drinks, smoothies, and blended drinks.
Nugget Ice

Flake Ice

Flake ice has a soft, snowy texture and is ideal for keeping food cold and fresh without damaging it. Flake ice is also popular for its ability to mold and conform to the shape of food products. It is also often used for medical compresses or in blended drinks.

  • Size: Varies
  • Uses: Flake ice is commonly used in seafood displays, salad bars, and for keeping produce fresh.
Flake Ice

Crescent Ice

Crescent has a unique shape, it can move in a glass without packing together. It shapes itself to the sides of a glass, creating exceptional liquid displacement and easy flow as a customer enjoys their beverage.

  • Size: 1 1/2" x 1 1/8" x 1/2"
  • Uses: Crescent ice is commonly used in self-serve ice machines, water dispensers, and ice bins
Crescent Ice

Gourmet Ice

Gourmet ice, also known as "top-hat" or octagon-shaped ice; is a large, cylindrical ice cube with a hollowed-out center. They are crystal clear and elegant without watering down drinks.

  • Size: 1 3/8" x 1 3/8" or 1 1/4" x 1 1/8" x 7/8" depending on shape
  • Uses: Gourmet ice is commonly used in high-end bars and restaurants for premium cocktails and spirits.
Gourmet Ice

Comparison Table of Different Types of Ice

Different Types of Ice

Ice Type

Features

Application

Setting

Melt Rate

Benefits

Regular Cube

Solid Build
~ 100% Ice-to-water Ratio

Large-Volume

Application

Commercial

Settings

Slow

Maximum Cooling

Reduce ice consumption

Full Cube

Solid Build

~ 100% Ice-to-water Ratio

Bagging

Dispensing

Soft Drinks

Mixed Drinks

Restaurant

Bar

Convenience Store

Catering

Slow

Uniform Shape

Maximum Cooling

Reduce ice consumption

Half Cube

Convenience Size

Solid Build

~ 100% Ice-to-water Ratio

Bagging

Self-service Dispensing

Drinks

Universally Applicable

Restaurants

Bars

Convenience Stores

Moderate

Versatile

Maximum Cooling

Nugget Ice

Soft and easy to chew

Chewing

Soft Drinks

Cold Drinks

Blended Drinks

Frozen Drinks

Healthcare

Restaurants

Bars

Convenience Stores

Quick 

Absorb the flavors of the drink

Chewable

Blends well

Flake Ice

Soft 

Snow-like

73% Ice-to-water Ratio

Market Display Applications

Buffet Lines

Medical Compresses

Grocery Stores

Fish Markets

Buffets

Healthcare

Quick 

Gentle on produce

Cool inquiries without too much pressure

Crescent Ice

Distinct half Moon shape

Solid Build

Bagging

Dispensing

Soft Drinks

Mixed Drinks

Restaurant

Bar

Convenience Store

Catering

Slow

Won’t pack together

Uniformly fills glass

Create exceptional liquid displacement

Gourmet Ice

Unique octagonal or cylindrical shape

Solid build

~ 100% Ice-to-water Ratio  

Serving in high-end liquors and upscale drinks

Upscale Restaurants 

Bars 

Banquet Halls

Slow

Effectively Cool Drinks

Conclusion

In conclusion, the types of ice you choose can greatly impact the taste and presentation of your drink or dish. Each type of ice has its own unique characteristics and uses, so it's important to choose the right one for your specific needs. Whether you're sipping on a cocktail or preserving food, the right type of ice can make all the difference.

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