Clear ice: the importance of pure ice
According to Brittini Rae, the journalist Camper English is responsible for the popularisation of “clear ice” in the United States. He is fascinated with the subject, and through experimentation he has discovered how to make perfectly pure, transparent, homogeneous ice cubes – known as clear ice – using his cooler. In this land where ice cubes are an essential part of daily life (and where no self-respecting restaurant would serve a glass of water without them), clear ice has become an absolute standard at cocktail bars, where the quality of ice is crucial.
This type of ice cube offers several advantages: zero impurities, a flawless organoleptic neutrality that ensures the precision of the cocktail’s flavour, and a limited dilution (with cube sizes of two inches and up).
Brittini worked as a bartender and brand ambassador for Cointreau when she first came to Paris in 2015. She quickly noticed that ice cubes in France tend to be white rather than clear.
She decided to examine the subject more closely with her husband Joseph Biolatto, who is also in the field (Le Forvm, the bar of Apicius, Bâton Rouge Cocktail Bar). On January 2, 2019 they founded The Nice Company, specialising in delivering clear ice throughout France. At 50 cents per cube, they offer the most attractive prices in Europe. But it isn’t easy to break the ice in a culture that does not yet recognise its importance. Yann Daniel, director of the Les Ambassadeurs bar at Hôtel de Crillon, was the first to place his trust in them. And gradually the interest in high-quality ice is gaining ground.
The production of clear ice requires time for cutting, space for storage, and ideally the equipment of specialised machines. Those challenges are easily overcome by calling on a service provider such as The Nice Company. Indeed, the average client begins with a minimal order of 100 cubes, but quickly moves on to larger orders. The icing on top? The opportunity to have each ice cube stamped. Clear ice appears to be clearing a path on the European market. Today in professional establishments; tomorrow perhaps at home. The Nice Company duo is currently considering that possibility.