Nugget Ice vs. Clear Ice: Which is best for a cocktail?

Nugget ice vs. Clear ice: Which is best for a cocktail?

Would you like to have your soft drink, which doesn’t have ice in it, and you have to take sips of a regular liquor that isn’t chilled? It’s pretty awkward. No drink is just done without ice;  whatever it is like coke or even any hard drink like a cold coffee, and of course, who can forget sizzling fried appetizers, they’re a must. Cocktails which get served must be chilled and smooth. The cocktails must be cooled down using ice cubes but wait; we cannot use any kind of ice to put in our drink; we deserve the right one. Imagine a single large ice block in your coke getting served while sitting in a cinema. People like to have nugget ice and sometimes clear ice in their drinks instead of just regular ice cubes. Before we know which ice goes best with cocktails, we are first supposed to understand what nugget ice and clear ice are with this article’s help. 

Nugget ice, and why is it called so?

Nugget ice is also called by names like pebble ice, sonic ice, or pellet ice just because it has a beautiful cheesy potato nugget shape. This kind of ice often can be seen on the top of your drinks floating. This ice is very light compared to ice cubes of the same size and airy, which can be easily chewed. Moreover, it has a cloudy white centre, and best goes with coke. The ice stays in the drink for long, unlike crushed ice and cubes. 

Nugget ice is the most expensive ice of all, which is not readily available everywhere in the market usually. The process of making nugget ice is a bit complicated, so you can find it a little challenging to make it at home from available ice cubes. It takes multiple processes like freezing ice cubes, then shaving them to form crushed ice, and then compressing the same into the moulds, finally giving the nugget shape. That is the only reason why nugget ice makers are expensive, because it needs so much preparation, whereas clear ice makers are cheaper. Additionally, they absorb up the flavour of the liquid in which they are put. It has a larger surface area as it is made up of tiny pieces of crushed ice, which ultimately increases the surface area, which means it can cool down the drink faster. 


  • Higher ice-to-drink ratio than other kinds of ice.
  • Rapid cooling.
  • Reduction in calorie intake with drinks.
  • High production rate.
  • Treating sports injuries; used by athletes, and footballers. 
  • Shipping frozen food items like fish, lobster, etc. 

Clear ice, and why is it called so?

Clear ice is usually made of purified water, which is free of any impurities. Another name for clear ice is gourmet ice. This ice is perfectly as clear as crystal with no silver linings and any signs of cloudiness in it, which we can usually see in the regular home ice cubes. It looks so great in the drinks like in champagne and white wines, which means it makes it look royal and keeps the drink chilled for longer. 

This kind of ice has been named clear because if we freeze ice with normal water, which may have impurities, it shows cloudiness and white coloured centre. Apart from being clear, the ice looks equally elegant and tasty in any kind of drink, but people prefer this kind of ice in their alcoholic beverages. It has a bigger size, so it melts in any drink at a slower rate and does not dilute the beverage’s taste. These are odourless and do not absorb the taste of the drink. 


  • Goes well with beer and other alcoholic beverages.
  • To relieve muscle pain.
  • Shipping frozen food like freshwater prawns.
  • Served with drinks filled in a jar.

Which one is better for cocktails?

Both of the ice goes with cocktails and any other kind of drink you desire. It is an individual decision that determines which kind a person prefers for himself. But, most people prefer nugget ice over clear ice in cocktails, but again, some of them prefer clear over nugget ice. After a few comparisons, you will be able to decide which ice is which one and will be able to choose the right one for your drink tonight. Let us see which one is best for you: 

  • Keeping the drink chilled: Nugget ice chills the drink rapidly because of the larger surface area, whereas clear ice keeps your drink chilled for hours because of its larger size.
  • Can be chewed: Who doesn’t like to chew their ice pieces after finishing the drink or when they pop up in your mouth along with the drink. Nugget ice can be chewed easily without causing pain or discomfort to your teeth, whereas clear ice is just freezing pure water, which people find hard to chew or even break.
  • Melting in the drink: Both of these ice melts slowly in your drinks but being the larger surface area in nugget ice, they melt slowly, whereas clear ice being large, melts even slower. So the thing comes here: how long would we wait. Automatically, we will chew ice in the end or leave them in the glass. 
  • Crunchiness: Nugget ice is made up by compressing the crushed ice and many more complex steps, so it remains light and has air spaces in it which ultimately allows it to stay crunchy, but on the other hand, clear ice, which is pure water, cannot be chewed easily, and has no air inside them is very hard to break with teeth. 

The final decision is yours:

A lot of experiments have been done based on this topic itself, where people experimented on which ice is better, the nugget or the clear one. Some people prefer nugget ice in their Coke when sitting in a theatre and their champagne, when they are drinking in a flute glass; whereas some prefer clear ice in their beer or whiskey, which makes it look royal and classy. In the end, the final choice is yours, which ice you want to have in your drink. Come on, drinks are supposed to be done occasionally, and you want to have the best experience with it, right? Now, you have the best guide to the right choice of ice, so what are you waiting for? Throw a cocktail party, and grab a flute of champagne, and cheers! 

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