My Obsession with Sonic Ice

There are some things that dedicated hosts cannot forget at their parties. There must be enough entertainment, enough food and drinks, and lots of ice to put in those drinks. However, some hosts may not realize that one type of ice is, apparently, better than others. It seems that once people learn about the joys of sonic ice, there is no going back. It can even become a bit of an obsession, and I am talking about myself here.  I ended up buying one of those portable home ice makers after reading reviews online from now I can get my fix of good ice anytime. There is no way of perfecting some of the best cocktails or summer slushies without this ice.

My Crazy Silly Ice Nuggets Obsession

How did this “obsession” start, and is that really a fair term to use?

The term obsession is up for debate but understandable upon meeting some “Sonic ice” devotees. There is a bit of cult surrounding Sonic ice. This style of ice, those tiny little chewy nuggets, is also known as pebble, pellet or nugget ice. This refers to the shape compared to other crushed, shaved or cubed options. The difference here is that some people crave it, rave about it and don’t want to put anything else in their drinks.

Ice lovers still call this “Sonic ice” for a reason – regardless of its actual origin. This is because this love of nugget ice originated from the Sonic drive-in restaurants. Those that are yet to make a stop at one of their drive-in restaurants, or are loyal to another brand, may have missed this icy quirk.

They have long offered a unique way of serving ice to customers. Their drinks are awash with tiny little pellets of ice that swamp a chilled drink and make it more appealing. Of course, this isn’t that unique anymore. Still, the name has stuck around.

So what is So Appealing about this type of ice?

Those that have never tried an iced drink from Sonic may wonder what all the fuss is about. Surely, ice is just ice. Just frozen water that melts into a drink just the same. Well, Sonic ice lovers would disagree. They love these ice nuggets for the following reasons.

  1. The absorbency– The first draw here is the way that these pellets soak up the flavor of the drink. The compression of the ice leaves little air pockets. This helps them absorb the color and flavor of the drink.
  2. The longevity– This approach also means it makes the pleasure of the beverage last longer. This is true for a cold soda, slushie or alcoholic drink. There are those tasty icy remains to eat like a desert. Think of it as a granita, only low-end, diner-style and less expensive.
  3. The temperature– Then there is the way it floats in the drink for optimal cooling. Most ice should float, but few forms fill the glass like a nugget. This means cold, refreshing drinks in an instant.
  4. The texture– This is possibly the number one benefit for some Sonic ice lover. The textures of the compressed ice mean it is great to chew. Many people like to chew on ice. Yet, cubes are too big and crushed ice can hurt. These pellets are softer, easy to handle and don’t trigger sensitivity in the same way either.

The other great thing about this form of pellet ice is that that it isn’t limited to a Sonic cherry limeade. There is great potential for pebble ice in all kinds of drinks – not just a large cup of syrupy goodness out of Sonic. There is the chance that many drinks – more adult, and alcoholic drinks – could see some enhancement with this form of ice. These pellets will soak up the flavor and enhance the texture in a way that crushed and shaved ice never could.

Therefore, it is a great idea to have this ice option available for guests at a pool party, or any other summer get-together. Hosts can supply all the cubed or crushed ice that guests may need, but it won’t cut it for those devotees of the Sonic ice cult. This nugget ice option will not only improve the drinks, it will improve the reputation of the host. They clearly know how to impress and can cater to all kinds of tastes.

table set for garden party

We have to remember that this isn’t just a love of ice. This is a devotion to the source that borders on addiction in some cases.

The appeal of Sonic ice is no joke to those of us that love the stuff. Those yet to convert may laugh at the idea, but will soon learn their lesson. There are online forums and groups dedicated to the love of Sonic ice – not so much the restaurant, just the ice in their drinks. People crave the stuff and feel let down by flavorless shavings of ice or giant cubes from the refrigerator.

There are even stories of people going to the source to get bags of “real” Sonic ice. The rumor is that they knock on the back door, say the code word and get their supply. This could all be a joke, but there are surely some Sonic ice addicts that would give it a try.

This is all a bit extreme when a simple home nugget ice maker will do.Whether this is true or not, this is where all lovers of iced drinks need to take a bit of a reality check.

First of all, all pebble ice lovers need to remember that it is the shape of the ice, not the place of origin that makes this so special. The Sonic name attaches to the form through love and association. It is a bit like when people call vacuum cleaners Hoovers, or self-balancing scooters Segways. It is possible to recreate the effect with the right pebble ice machines.

Some may object and say that it can’t possibly be the same as the real thing. They may believe that there is something special about the Sonic ice machines to create the taste and texture. The truth is the only thing different about these machines is the risk of hygiene. An at-home nugget ice maker will do the same thing, with less risk. That is as long as users remember to clean it out regularly.

Source: FirstBuild

Buying a nugget ice machine for at-home sonic ice

There is now a thriving market for ice makers that will recreate the look and consistency of these Sonic ice pellets but also other ones. That is why it is good to read reviews. Desperate ice junkies in need of their next fix don’t have to go door to door pleading with Sonic restaurant employees. One such machine is the Opal Nugget Ice Maker.

There are many ice makers around that try and add a little style and convenience to a home bar area. They are all about quick, convenient supplies of ice for all kinds of drinks. Some brands will look to add nugget capabilities, while others will go all out with a dedicated nugget ice maker. The Opal nugget ice maker does just that. It is a no-nonsense single-purpose ice maker that should meet the need of all sonic ice fanatics.

summer garden party

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker has plenty of benefits for sonic ice lovers and your next BBQ garden party hosts. Here are some advantages with this ice maker for all those that want to recreate the texture and effect of Sonic ice nuggets.

  • The first benefit is the quality of the ice itself. This is the best way of recreating those Sonic ice nugget shapes, with the texture and absorbency that buyers expect. Users can also create a large amount of it in a short space of time.
  • Then there is that large window on the front, where users can see the ice in all its translucent glory. This is is mouth watering for all those that can’t wait to get their fix.
  • There are also plenty of benefits for those that want to use a machine like this at a house party over the summer. This ice maker holds up to 3 lbs. at a time and can make a pound each hour. Obviously, that large capacity helps here. There should be a steady stream of ice to suit the needs of a large guest list.
  • The added bonus to the design of this Opal Nugget Ice Maker is that it is portable, as well as being spacious. This counter-top unit plugs into a typical outlet, so has potential in different surroundings. It isn’t confined to the kitchen and can be set up outside on the patio for your next pool or garden party. The smart sensors turn the ice maker on and off, according to the capacity of the ice basket. This means that the hosts aren’t tied to it during hosting duties.
  • At the same time, it shouldn’t waste too much energy. This is important when we consider the final factor with this Opal nugget maker.

A disadvantage of this machine – and many others like it – is the cost. These machines are not cheap. Prices will vary between retailers, and depend on current deals.

Nugget Ice Maker

Yet, it isn’t unheard of to pay $500 for this machine. This is where we see a divide between consumers. There are the Sonic ice addicts that will find a reason to pay this much, while those that don’t understand the hype laugh at the idea. Even so, this could be a good investment in the long run. That is as long as buyers are sure of getting plenty of use out of it.

Sonic ice cult followers can cut costs of fast food meals over time as they make their own ice nuggets at home. Those that hold regular pool parties will see the worth in the joy the ice maker brings to others. Once word gets out about a Sonic Ice maker in the neighborhood, there may be a few gatecrashers for your next BBQ get together or house party.

This convenient nugget ice maker opens the door to great new party drinks.

With a nugget ice maker plugged in and ready to go, there is plenty of opportunity for users and their guests to experiment. Half the fun comes in trying different concoctions to see where these pellets can improve the experience. For example, users may want to try the following:tropical drinks with ice nuggets

  1. The margarita. The margarita is an easy place to start. This iced drink usually goes down a storm at summer parties and it is easy to substitute in nugget ice. This should improve the flavor and look of the drink. The absorption into the nuggets will provide a nicer look and longevity to the drink.
  2. The paradise cocktail. The best summer iced cocktails have lots of colors to tempt drinkers. This means different layers of the drink, some fruit on the top and an umbrella for “style”. The paradise mixes Malibu rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and grenadine for a vibrant effect.
  3. The Saba Colada. Then there are the overtly tropical concoctions, like a Saba Colada. This drink combines Malibu rum, coconut milk, syrup and blue curacao for color. It is all mixed up with ice and fresh pineapple to garnish.

Converting to sonic ice is actually pretty fun

Clearly, this isn’t a call to abandon all other forms of ice and ride that Sonic ice bandwagon into the ground. There are a time and a place for this type of ice. Some devotees to the cult may say that this is for use all-day-every-day, with as many flavors as possible.

Still, it doesn’t really work for scotch on the rocks. Not when the rocks broke down into cute pebbles. The best approach for all those that want to embrace Sonic ice at their party is to add it to their options. Guests should have the choice of pellet, crushed or cubed depending on their drink of choice.

Even so, it is likely that those nuggets from the Opal ice maker will disappear much faster these days because when the kids get involved things can go crazy. All the more reason for a high capacity ice maker. From my experience, we have our friends ask us to borrow the machine or bring it when we get invited on camping or boating trips during the summer.

There are some people that assume that this Sonic ice obsession is a short-term fad. Yet, these are the people that are yet to meet a true believer. There is a clear sense that Sonic ice lovers may find themselves hooked for life, that this is a cult without an end. The way this cult is going, there may not be a poolside or home bar without a nugget ice maker this summer. The best way forward is to embrace those chewy little nuggets and the joy they bring. It may be a simple pleasure, but it is an undeniable one!