by Maddy Zollo-Rusbosin | June 18, 2018

Made in FLA: Miami Ice

Make sure your drink tastes as cool as it looks with custom-crafted cubes from this South Florida ice-maker


Ice sculptors Leal and Alvarez show off their frozen florals. Photography by Erik Lesser

After realizing that nothing ruins a cocktail faster than melting ice, Carlos Leal and Fabian Alvarez set out to change the Miami bar scene one cube at a time with their company Mixology Ice.

“We started the business because we found out there was a niche for good ice that was untapped,” explains Leal. “When you use regular ice at bars and events, there will be melting, which will mess around with the quality of
the drinks.”

They begin making their custom ice with a slow-freezing process, which eliminates gas bubbles that melt quickly and can cause premature drink dilution. After five days, they’ll be left with a 300-pound block of ice made purely of water.

“Then, you hand-cut it,” says Leal. “It’s the artisanal part of the process.” Using a two-meter saw, the ice is whittled down based on a client’s wants and needs. The cubes last 35 to 40 minutes once they’re placed in a glass. Mixology Ice has the ability to personalize cubes even further by infusing the ice with edible flowers, fruit and more. They also sell trays in three popular shapes (sphere, cube and Collins), so customers can create their own ice at home. “We are trying to make it possible for everyone to afford good ice,” says Leal. “It should be easy for people to pick up a good tray of ice. That’s the goal.”