A Nine-Cocktail Lunch at Mourad in San Francisco

New Business Models for Large Format Cocktail Ice Providers

Large format cocktail ice providers have been around for a while, but now big cube/sphere/spear providers are branching out into new shapes, sizes, making machines, and pushing into retail. 

In a story for SevenFifty Daily, based in part on my talk at Tales of the Cocktail, I wrote about what several companies are doing to bring more larger clear ice to more people. 


Big ice copy


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I have a Wintersmiths Ice Chest for spheres and I've been using your "small cooler in the freezer" method for cubes and spears. But cutting down the block (using an ice saw I got from Amazon) takes a half hour or more and is a fair amount of work. I really need a G&T by the time I'm done. Maybe I should get a bench-top band saw. There's a Skil that's no more expensive than the Ice Chest. It only has a 3 1/2" capacity, though, so I'd still have to cut the block down manually before I could start slicing. But after that it would be pretty quick. Hmmmm…

Camper English

I cut my block down super fast just using the Uber Ice Pick, as I don't care about having square cubes. It takes me about 3 minutes or so, and is a super fun way to get out aggression by smashing it up into big chunks.


I'll check it out but I think I'm too OCD to give up my 90° angles until after a couple cocktails.


I use fairly large individual ice-cube spheres made by Tevelo (I think that's the spelling). Hot water from my sink at 140 degrees put into a $59 Haier fridge at its lowest sttings gets pretty clear ice. I get better results using my big cube silicone ice trays and boiling distilled water putting in the trays and putting it in the same fridge. I'm afraid to boil water for the Tevelo sphees because of possible melting. I got the spheres at William Sonoma 2 for about $15. You can build up cubes by saving them in gallon freezer bags. Good luck.


Another way of "cutting" the ice is to use Nichrom wire with a constant current run through it. I've found I can make multiple parallel cuts at once. Using this I cut down my fairly large (~25 pound) blocks of ice into 40-100 perfect cubes or spears in less than 30 minutes. The heat from the wire wastes about 2mm per cut. Not a quicker solution than a bandsaw, but my homemade hot wire cutter costed about 25 dollars and folds to store the size of my laptop.

Camper English

I have questions! What's on the ends of the wires? How do you heat it? Do you have a picture of your system?

Robert Honeycutt

Can you tell me more about this wire system you created? I am dying to know

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