Would You Pay a Premium to Freeze Your Own Artisanal Ice?

By Mike Pomranz |
FWX UNFROZEN ICE CUBES

© JG Photography / Alamy

In high-end bars around the country, artisanal ice is the latest necessity for making the perfect cocktail. In theory, these fancy ice cubes not only look better—they’re nearly crystal clear—but also melt more slowly than regular ice, meaning your drink stays cold without getting watered down.

Currently, bars buy artisanal ice from different producers around the country. But a new start-up wants to bring the idea of artisanal ice to the masses, selling prepackaged six-packs of unfrozen artisanal ice, also known as water, that you make yourself in your freezer.

Tudor Ice Company promises that for just $5.99 you’ll be able to create six perfectly clear, perfectly square, slow-melting 2-inch ice cubes at home, thanks to its water purification system and a patent pending process that removes air from the packaging. 

Potential competitors, meanwhile, seem skeptical. “Unless Tudor’s figured out something outside the laws of thermodynamics, you can’t get perfectly clear,” Roberto Sequeira, founder of Gläce Luxury Ice, told Bloomberg Business. While reporting on the story, Bloomberg was even given some “preliminary” samples to try, which “came out of the freezer cloudy and cracked.”

Even if Tudor is able to perfect its process, it’s also yet to be seen if people would be willing to pay a dollar a cube for ice they make themselves. Bars love artisanal ice because it allows them to charge a premium; at home, if you don’t want watered-down whiskey, you can just pour yourself less.

Tudor Ice is set to make its debut with an upcoming three-month test run at upscale bars and liquor stores in Miami. If you happen to see it on a bar menu, feel free to maximize your snootiness by saying, “Pfft, Tudor? That’s grocery store artisanal ice.”

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