margarita mixesGreat cocktails like margarita mixes, daiquiris and piña coladas would be nothing without ice. Ice is the one ingredient that’s universal to just about every cocktail. It not only chills drinks, but as it is shaken and as it melts, it becomes part of the mix. That’s why ice deserves much more than a little attention.

There are 4 basic forms or types of ice: cubed ice, cracked ice, shaved ice and blocked ice. Let’s briefly break them down. No pun intended!

  1. Cubes: Cubes are ideal for almost all mixing – stirring, shaking, on the rocks, or with sodas and juices. The thicker, larger surface area allows the cubes to melt slowly, causing less dilution in cocktails like margarita mixes. For best results, fill the shaker or glass two-thirds of the way with ice.
  2. Cracked: Cracked ice is smaller than cubes, so it melts quicker and adds more water to drinks. Typically, it’s used when making frozen beverages because cubes are prone to clogging blender blades and causing inconsistency. Two-thirds to 1 cup of cracked ice is ideal for a single frozen margarita or daiquiri.
  3. Shaved: Shaved or crushed ice is what’s typically found in fountain soda machines. It’s very fine and can be used in a shaker to produce a nice, thick slushy.
  4. Blocks: These days, blocks of ice are used mainly for chilling bottled cocktails of margarita mixes, punches and other drinks. The blocks can take any form you desire. Many novelty moulds are available, but rings are perhaps the most popular. Also, you can use just about any container for them.