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Serving crystal clear ice at your bar is very expensive.  The current options range from buying pre cut ice cubes from a producer to investing in expensive equipment.  Current options include:

  • Buy ice

    • Purchased ice cubes can cost more than the base spirit in your cocktail.  This is ludicrous.  Its just frozen water.  This method is cash trap, with bars regularly spending +$1000 monthly which is difficult to recoup from liquor cost pricing strategies.

      • 2” Cubes = $0.70

      • 3” Cubes = $1.10

      • 1.5”x6” = $0.85

  • Buy ice sculpting blocks and break down in house.

    • This option drops the cost by more than half.  Ice sculpting blocks cost around $100 from a bulk producer and can be requested quartered to make them more manageable.  But if these cuts are not accurate it can have a detrimental affect on your yield.

      • 2” Cubes = $0.29

      • 3” Cubes = $0.56

      • 1.5”x6” = $0.44

  • Invest in an ice sculpting block machine

    • The challenge with the current machine it the sheer size.  Both for the size of the block and the amount of space needed for ice production.  As the ice sculpting blocks weigh near 300 pounds additional equipment is needed to handle the large blocks.

      • Engine Hoist = $1000

      • Racking System to handle and move the blocks = $1000

      • Chainsaw with portable saw mill = $600 - $800

  • Invest in a Bartender's Ice Machine

    • One time cost of the machine.  Choice to break the small, manageable, high yield blocks by hand, or by butcher bandsaw.  Including labor the cost of the cubes done in house drops significantly.

      • 2” Cubes = $0.05

        • 3” Cubes = $0.08

        • 1.5”x6” = $0.05


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