What Are The Different Types Of Ice?

There is nothing better than throwing some ice cubes in your cocktail or blended drinks, 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.

From the frozen water that covers lakes and rivers in the winter to the ice that is used to make snow cones. Some people even collect ice as a hobby. 

And 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

A List Of Different Types of Ice Types

There various types of ice, ice cube sizes and ice forms. We have made a list of  different types of ice that can be commonly found for your understanding!

Perfect to be used together with your frozen drinks, frozen cocktails and even your tiki drinks, these ice cubes are a great choice due to their easy to chew nature, slow melt nature and exceptional liquid displacement. 

1. Nugget Ice Cubes/Pebble ice

One of the most popular types of ice is called nugget ice (sometimes known as pebble ice/pearl ice/sonic ice/pellet 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/nugget ice machines in recent years.

Nugget ice

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

2. Regular/Half Ice Cubes

Regular and half ice cubes are the most common type of ice that is used for drinks, mixed drinks or cocktails.  You’ve probably used thousands of them in your life.

Sometimes referred to as full dice ice or half dice ice, 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/ice machine) and melt relatively slowly. They can be collected manually from the ice tray in the freezer ice compartment or from ice dispensers of refrigerators. 

Regular ice cubes  (sometimes referred to as square cubes) are a great choice due to their easy to chew nature and are perfect to be used when serving drinks to guests or when wanting to enjoy cold drinks on a hot summer’s day.

When you need large volume applications of ice cubes for your catering services/businesses or for any particular purpose that requires a huge quantity of ice cubes, convenience stores or grocery stores do provide ice baggings for sale that come as a mixture of full cubes/regular cubes and half cubes. 

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 cubes, we definitely recommend going for nugget ice!

3. Crescent Ice Cubes

Crescent ice cubes 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.

4. Crushed Ice/Flake Ice

Most refrigerators come with two different types of ice: cubed and crushed/flaked ice. 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. 

5. 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 ice cube/ half cube ice, the downside of full ice cubes is that the texture is super hard, so it’s not recommended to chew on.

6. 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!

Block Ice can also be shaved with an ice shaving machine to create shaved ice, the most common form of ice in commercial settings for snow cones or desserts.

7. Gourmet Ice Cubes

Gourmet ice cubes 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.

Among examples of gourmet ice cubes are crystal clear ice spheres or the aesthetically pleasing diamond shaped big cubes of ice that are commonly found in upscale restaurants.

These ice cubes have larger surface areas which causes them to have a slower melt rate, hence allowing the ice to melt slowly. This gives and allows for a positive customer experience when it comes to their cocktails/drinks, making gourmet ice highly favoured by the restaurant industry.

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.

8. 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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