What is Nugget Style Ice for Cocktails?
Otherwise known as Sonic ice, nugget style ice is a popular choice among those who love crunching and chewing on ice.
Nugget ice has developed what many refer to as a cult following due to how addicting the chewy ice is at Sonic restaurants. While it’s rare to find it in other restaurants, bars, and homes, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
People across the country can invest in nugget ice machines for commercial and residential use. That way, they can either provide this airy type of ice to their customers or enjoy it in their homes.
Either way, the allure is unmistakable and leads others to wonder what is nugget style ice for cocktails?
What Exactly Is Nugget Ice?
Nugget ice is a slow melting type of cube that is commonly added to soft drinks to prevent foaming.
It will also take on any flavor of the drink when added. In comparison to other cubes, these are very soft. Their porous texture allows you to chew them without causing any tooth damage.
They’re ideal for fountain beverages, as well as blended cocktails.
How Does it Compare to Crushed Ice?
When you’re looking at nugget ice, it’s easy to mistake it for crushed ice. However, there’s a difference. Nugget ice isn’t crushed. Instead, you’re putting small “nuggets” of ice into your drinks.
Crushed ice is precisely what it sounds like–ice that’s been crushed into smaller pieces. Nugget ice is created by flakes of ice that is compacted into small nuggets of ice, which are also referred to as pebbles or pellets.
The result is a piece of ice containing a fair amount of air. It’s these air pockets that help them become chewable and crunchy. That’s also what aids in their absorption capabilities.
Ice-eaters find this another appealing aspect of these ice cubes. However, you’ll find that the surface area of the ice touching the drink increases as a result.
That means the ice is going to melt quicker in comparison to other types of cubes. However, because they’re smaller, there’s less surface area. That helps make them melt slower.
If you’re adding nugget ice to a cocktail, in comparison to crushed ice, it not only looks better but its slower melt rate makes it far more appealing. Crushed ice is commonly used in cocktails in restaurants and bars. However, it causes the drinks to dilute quickly. So, if you want your cocktails to look and taste better, nugget ice is the better choice.
What Are the Benefits to Using Nugget Ice Cubes?
Those who love chewing on ice cubes find this to be the number one benefit. They love that they can chew on these pieces of ice without experiencing any cracks in their teeth.
These ice cubes will also take on the flavor of any beverage they’re in. When you’re pouring soda over nugget ice cubes, you’ll also find that virtually no foaming occurs. These ice cubes also blend easily when making cocktails.
Why else do those who obsess over Sonic ice cubes find them beneficial? Here are some ways:
1: They Cool Drinks Down Rapidly
Beverage cools down quickly when nugget ice is in them, and consumers love that fact. Because the ice to drink ration is high, faster cooling occurs. More surface area is touching the beverage, which means cooling occurs more rapidly in comparison to standard ice cubes.
2: Lower Caloric Intake
You’ll find that, in a calorie-conscious society, there are those who love that nugget ice helps reduce calories. The main reason is there’s more ice in the cup than a beverage. So, that means there’s less room for a high-caloric drink. Those who are calorie-conscious find this attractive.
3: Quick and Easy Production
One thing stands out when you’re using a nugget ice machine in comparison to a traditional ice machine. Nugget ice machines are far more productive. When you have a significant demand for ice, a nugget machine is optimal. You’ll find you never run out of ice with this machine and it can keep up with your demands effortlessly.
Cocktails Made Using Nugget Style Ice
Even though nugget-style ice is common at Sonic drive-through restaurants, that doesn’t mean it’s limited to fountain drinks. Those who enjoy cocktails are also obsessed with this kind of ice as well.
Not only does it blend well in margaritas, but it takes on the flavors in many other drinks, making them cool and refreshing. The following are suggestions for cocktails using Sonic ice. You can use your favorite recipes or find many available online.
Bourbon Mint Julep
Nugget is a popular favorite in this classic drink. Not only does it look nice mixed with the mint and bourbon, but the flavors chill nicely with the addition of the nugget ice.
Mix your ingredients in one glass, then add it to a glass full of nugget ice. Add a sprig of mint for garnish.
Here’s another favorite that includes mint. You’ll be making this drink with your favorite rum mixed with lime juice and sparkling water.
Adding the nugget ice makes a high impact. Be sure the mint you’re muddling is fresh for the best taste. Add a wedge of lime and several sprigs of mint as a garnish.
Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade
Put a twist on traditional lemonade by adding loads of watermelon! This signature cocktail includes your favorite unflavored vodka and sparkling water.
Pour everything over nugget ice, and it will take on all the flavors in a delicious way. Garnish the edge of the cup with sugar and a wedge of lemon.
Use traditional ice to shake the ingredients of a Mai Tai. Use your favorite rums, lime juice, and other premium ingredients. Then, strain them over a glass of nugget ice.
Make sure the glass is full, so it creates a slight curve above the rim. Then, garnish with a lime wedge and flowers.
Un-blended Pina Colada
For those who are looking for a light and refreshing Pina Colada that isn’t too sweet, this is an excellent option. You’ll be using rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, Coco Lopez, and cream of coconut.
Pour the ingredients over a little nugget ice, stir it up, and then add more nugget ice on top. Then, add a garnish of pineapple or an umbrella.
Why is Nugget Ice Popular for Cocktails?
Not only does nugget-style ice make a nice presentation, but it chills the drinks without melting too quickly. You can make cocktails using nugget ice by blending or leaving them whole.
Either way, they’ll take on the flavor of the beverage you’re creating deliciously. It doesn’t matter if you’re making cocktails at a commercial establishment or your home bar, a nugget ice machine will help you achieve that goal.
Creating the perfect summer cocktail is all about choosing the best ingredients as well as using the best kind of ice.
That means taking care that the selections you’re making are not only in keeping with how the cocktail is going to taste but its presentation and how it’s chilled as well.
You’ll also be weighing factors including whether or not the person you’re serving the drink to likes chewing on the ice or not. If the answer is yes, then selecting nugget is undoubtedly the right choice.
In addition to offering a beautiful presentation and chilling the cocktail well, it also satisfies desires for crunchiness.