It’s tough making cocktails when your icemaker dies. Sure you can score a few bags from the store, but who wants to leave the house when you’re jonesing for a drink? Enter Air & Water Inc., who in a fortuitous fashion offered their NewAir AI-100SS portable icemaker for review shortly after my freezer stopped making ice.
The Air & Water icemaker is stainless steel and fairly sleek, measuring a manageable 12” x 14” by 14”. It makes ice in three sizes – small, medium and large – with each size being a bit on the small side.
It makes the first batch of cubes in 12-15 minutes, and can make up to about 30 pounds per day. At this speed and volume, it’s fine for casual use, but not a great candidate for parties.
The ice is shaped like a hollow bullet, or maybe a thimble, so the hollow inside means a lot of surface contact with the drink. It’s an important note to keep in mind, as stirred cocktails will approach their desired temperature and dilution very quickly. As far as shaking, the Air & Water ice cubes shatter inside the shaker. If you like to shake drinks with cracked ice, then you might like this feature, but again, it creates much quicker dilution of the cocktail than solid ice cubes.
The Air & Water icemaker is no Kold-Draft machine, but it works as advertised. I don’t see serious cocktail fiends using the machine much, given the shape and nature of the ice, but it’s a good product for those without icemakers, and it certainly has utility as an accessory to patio drinking and tailgating.