On the Rocks

cocktail on the rocks

Hosting a cocktail party doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. First, create a theme for your party and coordinate the drinks and food to fall in line. This will help you save money by limiting your drink choices and also make things more fun for your guests. The food menu doesn’t have to be over the top either as many delicious appetizers can be quick and easy to make and can even be prepared ahead of time.

But after the food and drinks are decided upon, can you guess what single item can make or break your cocktail party? ICE! Surprisingly enough, ice is the number one most commonly overlooked item when preparing for cocktail parties. Make sure that you never have to worry about running low on ice with the EdgeStar built-in ice maker.

This compact ice maker produces up to 12 pounds of clear, crescent-shaped ice per day and fits under most counters for that nice under counter look. Designed to save you money, installation is simple and inexpensive. As a huge bonus, unlike many ice makers, this model does not require the use of a drain allowing you to put this ice maker virtually anywhere. This compact ice maker has the look, performance and features of other units but at less than half the cost. Don’t throw another party without it!

Here are some delectable cocktail recipes to please every palate:

blood orange margarita Blood Orange Margarita

Juice of 1.5 blood oranges
Juice of 1.5 limes
1.5 oz favorite tequila
0.5 oz Cointreau
1 Tbsp pomegranate juice
Ice
Salt

Mix all ingredients (except the salt) in a shaker. Take a lime wedge and run it along the rim of the glass. Dip the rim in salt. Add ice to the glass and pour in blood orange margarita mixture. Garnish with an orange or lime wedge.

manhattan cocktail

 

Manhattan

0.75 oz sweet vermouth
2.5 oz bourbon whiskey
1 dash bitters
1 maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel
Ice

Combine the vermouth, bourbon whiskey and bitters with ice cubes in a mixing glass. Stir gently. Drop a cherry in a cocktail glass and pour in the drink mixture. Rub an orange wedge over the glass rim.

 

Brazilian CaipirinhaBrazilian Caipirinha

0.5 lime, quartered
1 tsp white sugar
2.5 fluid oz cachaca
1 cup ice cubes

In a large rocks glass, squeeze and drop in 2 eighths of lime. Add sugar, crush and mix with a spoon. Pour in the cachaca and plenty of ice. Stir well.

 

Love Nugget Ice

Nugget Ice

Have you ever been to a drive-thru restaurant and just loved their ice so much you wished you had an ice maker at home that made ice like that? Chances are the ice that restaurant was serving was nugget ice. Nugget ice is pellet-shaped, soft, chewable ice. It doesn’t have that hard crunch of your normal ice and is almost slushy-like in texture but still is able to keep your drink nice and cold without melting too quickly.

Nugget lovers seek out this ice like no other and some even go as far as buying it by the bag at the restaurants that serve it. They obviously pay a premium to buy the ice this way and would be a lot better off if they could get a nugget ice maker for their home.

Until now, there has not been an affordable version of a nugget ice maker on the market. I have heard many people searching for a residential version of an ice maker that makes nugget ice and finally, Scotsman has answered their prayers with the NU130 series nugget ice makers. Scotsman coined the phrase “Love the Nug,” and I think the proud owners of the Scotsman nugget ice makers do just that!

Little Snowie Snow Cone Maker

Little Snowie Snow Cone Maker

With summer right around the corner, I’m already getting excited about all of the tasty cold treats that I crave as the temperatures get warmer.  One of those treats being the delicious snow cone!  For those who love flavored shaved ice as much as I do, check out the Little Snowie.

This machine has come a long way from the Snoopy snow cone maker I had as a kid.  I remember having to turn the handle to shave the ice and then scoop it out with the little shovel.  None of that is necessary with the Little Snowie as it has a heavy duty motor that can produce a snow cone in just seconds.  The best part is that is creates soft, fluffy shaved ice, like actual snow.  I truly think the Little Snowie is a must have for summer!

Cloudy vs Clear Ice: What Gives?

ice cubes

Being in the ice maker business, it’s not uncommon to have discussions about the importance of the clarity of ice (I promise we have plenty of other conversations that are far more exciting than ice clarity … we sell kegerators, too). And while some may wonder why this is an issue, I’m writing this post to settle the score and give you the down low on the differences of cloudy vs. clear ice and why you might care.

Clear Ice

People often associate clear ice with the purest of water and the most expensive of alcohol. It’s featured in all stock photography when you search for the term “ice” and isn’t typically the result of what’s in your ice tray after freezing it overnight.

Though seemingly difficult to achieve clear ice, it’s not impossible. Clear ice is transparent because of the air it’s exposed to, elements around and within the water and the temperature it’s frozen at. If you are able to get purified water to freeze without bubbles, you can make clear ice. View our clear ice makers.

Cloudy Ice

Cloudy ice can be thought of as having impurities. After all, it’s not clear – so what’s making it cloudy? Well, there could be a number of things giving your ice that “hazy” effect. For example, there could be minerals in the water you’re using to make it or it could be the method you’re using for freezing.

Having cloudy ice isn’t necessarily a cause for concern so if you’re sure your water is clean but you don’t care about aesthetics, embrace the cloud and don’t be afraid. View our cloudy ice makers.

The Verdict

What matters most is that your water is clean when you’re making ice. Cloudy ice won’t kill you and clear ice isn’t impossible. I hope this helps you with your future ice dilemmas!

 

The Search for a New Photo

After many years of showing our wonderful photo of icy sweet tea displayed in a wonderful outdoor setting for our ice makers specialty website, IceMakerDirect.com, we decided to give the site a new look by changing our beloved iced tea photo (I know, we are all very sad as well) to a brand new photo that will reflect the comfort & convenience of owning a residential or portable ice maker. Impressively enough during our search the majority of the photos we were able to find were girls, sexy girls and semi-drunk girls all enjoining icy drinks and looking something like this:

Not very retail appropriate…

There were quite a few other ideas and pictures that were rejected during the process. Here’s just a sample:

After a long search and even longer discussions, we have chosen the one & only! The perfect photo that reflects how great is it to own an ice maker, but only if… you are the type of person that craves a little relaxing drink after work, need more ice than the ice maker in your freezer can produce, or you enjoy hosting various events at your home or office, or if you are like me and never know what to give family members or friends on holidays or birthdays. Well, this new photo will help you say: “OMG!! I GOT IT – I’m totally getting an ice maker!!”

As a reminder, and for those few of you that want to keep the memory alive, here’s our old iced tea photo:

So finally… for your privileged eyes, here’s the new photo that will represent the new face of our IceMakerDirect.com homepage. (Click the link to see it.)

Enjoy and give us your feedback in the comments!

The Different Types of Ice

There are basically two types of people in this world.  Those that chew ice, and those that don’t.  Generally, people who chew ice are VERY particular about the kinds and type of ice they like.  People who do not chew ice tend to not really care about the ice, they just want it odorless, tasteless, and of course, cold.  So, that begs the question, what are the different  types of ice?  Here’s a quick breakdown, along with the home ice maker that will make that type of ice.

Sonic IceNugget Ice

Also known as “Sonic Ice.”  This ice is soft and a favorite among those who chew ice because it is soft and easy to chew.  Those that don’t chew ice also like nugget ice because it holds the flavor of your drink.  So, after you finish your drink, you can suck on the ice and get the same flavor.

Until recently, there was no residential ice maker that made nugget ice.  However, Scotsman now makes two units specifically designed for in home use.  The NU130GA-1A and the NU130PA-1A make the ice that “Sonic Ice” lovers crave.

Clear Ice

This is just as it sounds, the ice is clear and you can almost see through it.  Most restaurants use clear ice in their drinks as it tends to look better.  Clear ice is generally preferred by those who do not eat ice, but rather just want to keep their drinks cold and attractive.  Most ice makers that require some type of drain will make clear ice.

The key to keeping the ice clear is making sure it doesn’t freeze.  Thus, the ice that is in the holding bin will eventually melt, and need to drain.  So, when shopping for an ice maker, if the unit says it does not require a drain, then it will not make clear ice.  Clear ice is generally shaped like a cube.  However, that is not always the case.  There are literally hundreds of units on the market that make clear ice, and finding the right one for you is about your budget and personal preferences.  Just make sure you get one that has a drain if you truly want clear ice.

Bullet Shaped IceBullet Ice

Bullet ice is typically made in portable ice makers.  It is called that because it is shaped like a fat bullet (you know, from a gun), and it has a hole in the middle of the base.  Bullet  ice is not as soft or as small as nugget ice, but for those on a budget, a portable ice maker that makes bullet ice is often a great alternative to nugget ice.

Portable ice makers are convenient because they do not need a water hook up or a drain, and are usually small enough to fit on your counter.  Boaters and campers often use portable ice makers for their trips as it is much easier to handle than lugging around bags of ice, and something to keep it frozen.

Crescent Shaped Ice CubeCrescent Ice

Most people get confused when they hear crescent-shaped ice.  However, it is really quite simple.  Crescent ice looks like a half moon, or a semicircle.  A lot of refrigerator ice makers make crescent-shaped ice.  This ice is typically very hard because the ice is stored  frozen in order to keep its shape.  Machines that make crescent-shaped ice generally do not require a drain because they act as a freezer and keep the ice frozen.  And, since the ice is frozen, there is no melting and no condensant to remove from the machine.  Also, machines that make crescent ice tend to be more affordable than those that make clear ice.

However, there is one drawback to crescent ice.  Because the ice has to be kept frozen, it is white and not clear.  Now, if that matters to you, then you will not want a machine that makes crescent ice.  However, if you don’t care, then a crescent-shaped ice maker is perfect for you!

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