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Party Ice Makers Means No Ice Breakers

Aug 11, 2008
It's an odd scenario to be in, access to an almost unlimited amount of ice. Not the Icelandic glaciers or its famous Ice Hotel, or all the ice-skating rinks in Europe, and not even massive blocks of the stuff to carve as swans for dinner table centre pieces. Imagine having an industrial ice maker that produces 240kg of ice cubes a day, that's the equivalent to 615 cans of soda. To try and gulp that lot in the space of 24 hours requires a massive party and vivid imagination.

The most obvious use for such a volume of ice is to concoct a variety of beverages that require the cool cubes. For those that are tee total, an iced tea, frappe or crushed ice soda might delight hot and bothered taste buds. A more adventurous use, and probably the more popular for a party will be cocktails shaken, stirred, crushed and on the rocks.

To make a traditional Iced Tea, brew up a pot using a couple of bags to a couple of pints of water, add sugar and mint to taste and leave to cool. When ready to serve, fill a tumbler with cubes of ice, add some freshly squeezed lemon and a slice of lime then pour in the tea. This recipe has many variations using herbal and green teas. A Frappe requires a blender to crush the ice and mix the basic ingredients. A cafe frappe calls for a couple of spoons of sugar, a heaped spoon of coffee granules and a little milk to be blended together with a cupful of ice. Once the mixture has been whizzed together, it can be poured and topped with cream.

Crushed ice sodas and smoothies are generally prepared in the same way. Using syrups or juice, blend up a cup of ice; for a colourful ice crush try adding a bit of food colouring and layering various colours in a high ball glass. The healthier option of a fruit smoothie will use less blended ice, and be mixed up with fruits and juice of your choice; try strawberries and blueberries, or kiwi and banana with a little grape juice to water down.

A cocktail is generally any drink mix that contains alcohol. However, trying to pass off a whiskey and orange squash as a cocktail at a party will reduce bar skills credibility beyond redemption. Famous and favoured recipes are the best. Singapore Sling for gin, Mojito for rum, Sex on the Beach for vodka, Margarita for tequila; the list goes on. Ice for these drinks is used in different ways, some requiring crushed, some strained, and some blended or just as it comes. The basic fact is that ice is essential for each recipe; it is an impossible task to mix liqueurs, vermouths and spirits if the drinks are warm!

Once the party is started, it's time to get inventive with whatever ice is not being dunked in a drunk mans drink and think up some party games. Depending on the size and shape of the cubes from the maker, it may be possible to construct an ice cube Jenga; have an igloo building contest or fabricate beds of ice cubes for games of endurance to put the Japanese game shows to shame. If ice consumption by conventional means still leaves a stockpile it may be worth while seeking out sufferers of Pagophagia, people with a compulsion to eat ice, to keep up pace with the icy deluge, it might make for some unusual party entertainment.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a catering expert with many years of experience in the catering industry. Find out more about ice makers at Ascot Wholesale, suppliers of catering equipment.
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