Queen Bee Mixology

The Role of Ice in Cocktails: Which Ice Variety is Best For Your Drink

The Role of Ice in Cocktails: Which Ice Variety is Best For Your Drink

Ice often goes unnoticed, yet it holds the power to work wonders in cocktails. Ice can make or break a cocktail depending on what type of ice is used. In this blog post, I want to take you on a journey into the world of ice, exploring its different varieties and uncovering its pivotal role in creating the perfect cocktail.

Before leaping into ice varieties, let’s talk about why ice matters so much in cocktail-making. You see, ice does more than just chill your drink; it influences its flavor, dilution, and texture. Let me show you some of the most common ice varieties and how they influence the flavor of cocktails!

Crushed Ice

Picture yourself on a hot summer day, sipping on a Mint Julep or a Daiquiri. What’s the secret behind their refreshing allure? Crushed ice! This ice variety, as the name suggests, is crushed into small, pebble-like pieces. It chills your drink swiftly and melts faster, creating a delightful dilution that perfectly balances the cocktail’s flavors. Crushed ice is a must for tropical tiki cocktails and classics like the Mojito.

Cubed Ice

If you’re a fan of classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Negroni, cubed ice is your best friend. These dense, slow-melting cubes keep your drink cold without diluting it too quickly. They also provide an elegant touch to your glass, making your cocktail look as good as it tastes.

Sphere Ice

For those who appreciate the aesthetics of a well-crafted cocktail, sphere ice is a game-changer. These large, round ice balls not only look stunning but also melt slowly, preserving the flavors of your drink. Try it in a fine whiskey or a complex, spirit-forward cocktail for a truly memorable experience. I personally love using sphere ice when sipping a spirit like a high-quality bourbon. The slow melt of the ice ball enhances the whiskey’s aroma and allows me to savor every flavor.

Strain over a large ice cube in a low ball glass. 

Block Ice

When you need to chill an entire pitcher of cocktails for a party, block ice comes to the rescue. It’s clear, large, and melts at a very slow pace, ensuring your drinks stay icy cold without getting watered down. Perfect for punch bowls and big-batch cocktails.

The Art of Ice Making

Now that you know your ice varieties, let’s talk about making the perfect ice. It’s not just about freezing water; it’s about purity. Use distilled water to avoid impurities and cloudy ice. Invest in silicone or plastic molds or specialized ice makers for different shapes and sizes. And don’t forget to store your ice properly to prevent it from absorbing odors.

Conclusion: Elevate Your Cocktail Game

Whether you’re sipping a classic Manhattan, a Queen Bee original recipe, or a mocktail, the ice you choose can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ice varieties and let your creativity flow. Your cocktails will not only taste better, but they’ll look Instagram-worthy. Let’s raise a glass to the art of mixology and the endless possibilities it offers. Cheers!


Author Meet Kelly Sparks, the creative mastermind and cocktail influencer behind @QueenBeeMixology. While mixology may not be her day job, it is her passion. As the Founder and CEO of VMG Studios, a successful and award-winning creative agency and video production studio, Kelly brings her expertise in creativity to the world of cocktails. As a self-taught and dedicated do-it-yourselfer, Kelly makes the journey to amazing cocktails accessible to everyone. And when she’s not hard at work, you can find her sipping a delicious drink with her husband.

To mix drinks like a pro, check out my go-to bar tools and glasses.