One of the most impressive feats of modern bartending is the giant, crystal-clear ice cube. Though it may seem like it’s just there to look cool, there is an actual reason why bartenders prefer an oversized block to a handful of cubes. And that reason has science to back it up.
Richard Boccato knows his way around ice. The founder and managing partner of ice producer Hundredweight Ice and adjoining cocktail bar Dutch Kills in Long Island City, New York, opened his businesses 10 years ago, but he has been working with large format ice for close to 15 years. At Hundredweight, he and his team produce 300-pound blocks of ice, which they then carve into various shapes and sizes for the variety of cocktails on the menu at Dutch Kills. The company also delivers ice to clients around the city.
When Boccato began the process of opening Dutch Kills with co-owner Ian Present and the late industry great Sasha Petraske, he made sure ice was a top priority. They purchased a Clinebell Block Ice Maker, a machine that produces 100-pound blocks of clear ice intended for ice sculptors. It fulfilled his every icy desire, but as the bar—and demand for high-quality ice around NYC—grew, so did a new business. Hundredweight Ice began operations in 2011, two years after Dutch Kills opened its doors, and it’s been producing some of the city’s best ice ever since.