What are the different types of ice?

There is nothing better than throwing some ice in your cocktail, putting your feet up, and just relaxing while enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

When it comes to ice, there is more than enough choice! There are a lot of different types of ice you can choose from. All of them have different traits, benefits, and disadvantages, and are created using different technologies.

In fact, some types of ice aren’t even suitable to put in your drink! 

Today we’re going to cover the 8 different types of ice in detail, so let’s jump in!

Table of Contents

Nugget Ice

nugget ice

One of the most popular types of ice is called nugget ice. I’ve been covering nugget ice extensively on this blog as its soft and chewy texture has amassed a cult-like following over the years. People have literally started online communities to share their love for this frosty stuff (I don’t judge, really).

Especially avid ice chewers love nugget ice as its soft texture allows chewing without damaging your teeth. That’s also part of the reason why we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for nugget ice makers in recent years.

Although they do tend to melt quicker than regular ice cubes, their ability to absorb the flavour and blend with the drink makes nugget ice the preferred choice for many around the world. 

Regular/half Ice Cubes

ic ecubes

Regular and half ice cubes are the most common type of ice that is used for drinks. You’ve probably used thousands of them in your life. People love regular ice cubes as they are very easy and cheap to make (with an ice tray and a freezer or a regular ice maker) and melt relatively slowly.

They get the job done very effectively and efficiently. Although, one downside of this type of ice is that they are so hard. When chewing on regular ice cubes for a longer period of time, you risk damaging your tooth enamel. In time your teeth might start to become sensitive. So if you want to chew on ice, we defintely recommend going for nugget ice!

Crescent Ice

Crescent ice actually fills many of the same roles as standard cubed and half cubed ice, but it has a distinct half-moon shape that separates it from different types of ice.

Due to its unique shape, crescent ice is able to move freely in a glass without packing together and is able to better fill a glass as it is uniform with the sides.

Other than that, it mostly has the same advantages and disadvantages as cubed ice.

Crushed Ice

Most refrigerators come with two different types of ice: cubed and crushed. This type of ice is soft and snow-like, featuring a 73% ice-to-water ratio. It also cools very rapidly and can be easily molded.

It’s a very popular type of ice that is used in cocktails and to create desserts like slurpies.

Due to its soft texture, it’s also often used to transport different types of food (such as seafood and meats) in order to keep it cool and isolated. 

Full Cube Ice

Often two-by-two inches, these large Full ice cubes are another great option for drinks and cocktails. Due to its larger size, it melts slower, while offering maximum cooling and reduced amounts of dilution.

People love this type of ice as it enables you to cool your drink with a single cube (for a longer period of time).

Similar to regular/ half-ice cubes, the downside is that the texture is super hard, so it’s not recommended to chew on.

Block ice

Block ice

In the past, ice was always cut into large blocks of ice. However, today, you’ll find smaller versions of these ice blocks floating around in big bowls of punch or large batches of cocktails. 

It’s a great way to cool a large quantity of a specific beverage as you won’t need to keep refilling the bowl with ice. These large blocks of ice melt extremely slowly, so you can just put a few of them in the bowl and it will keep the beverage cool for hours!

Gourmet Ice

Gourmet ice

Gourmet ice is also known as “Top Hat Ice” or “Octagon Shaped Ice”. This ice is best for serving in high-end liquors and upscale drinks like whiskeys and other similar drinks.

Due to its unique shape and large size, gourmet ice effectively cools drinks and offers an eye-catching presentation. The ice is very clear and elegant without watering down drinks too quickly.

Dry Ice

dry ice

Dry ice is definitely not something to put in your drink!

It is made by liquefying carbon dioxide and injecting it into a holding tank, where it’s frozen at a temperature of -109° F and compressed into solid ice. In contrast to regular ice, dry ice doesn’t melt into a liquid as it warms up, but instead turns into a gaseous state.

It is mostly used for entertainment purposes, pest control and and food transport.


There you have it, the 8 different types of ice!

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Make sure to check out my homepage for in-depth reviews, ratings, and buying guides for the best nugget ice makers currently available!

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