You know how it is… You’ve planned everything. Every last detail has been checked and double checked. Camp chairs? Check. Firewood? Check. RVs, trucks, and campers loaded with awesome food and drinks and ready to go? Check. Enough ice to keep everything cold and to plop into your favorite campsite cocktail to keep it cool but not watered down? Ummmm…. check? Sort of. We’ve all been there, done that. Prepared an amazing cocktail only to find it a watered down tasteless mess before we can even finish it. But not anymore. This is why you need to start making mini block ice for your camping cocktails. You’ll be SO glad you did. This one’s all about the ice!
My brother-in-in-law is a genius. Well, he’s not the genius who actually invented the cool silicone ice trays that produce the mini block ice that fits perfectly in your Red Solo Cup filled with your favorite fireside cocktail when you’re out camping. But he’s the genius in our family who figured out what a great idea it is and made sure to get several trays so we would be well prepared every time we go camping.
What exactly is “mini block ice” (I kind of made up that term) and why is it now essential for all your RV and camping adventures? It’s a solution to a problem. The problem? How to enjoy delicious cold cocktails (I’m thinking Jack and Coke, 7 & 7, Bloody Marys (especially Bloody Marys!) but not water them down with melted ice. The solution? A big @$$ chunk of ice! It keeps your cold drinks cold, but melts so slowly that you actually have time to finish your beverage of choice before it turns into an unpleasant watered down lukewarm tasteless liquid.
How Does Mini Block Ice Work?
Now, I could bore you with the physics of it all… (the rate ice melts is directly proportionate to the amount of surface area of the ice that is exposed to the liquid in which it sits – the more surface area, the more the ice crystals transfer to the warmer liquid, the faster your drink becomes watery. The volume of ice in one large chunk has less surface area than the same volume of ice that’s in multiple small ice cubes, blah, blah, blah)… or you could just take it from me. This. Really. Works! (But if you’re a nerd like I am and would like to delve into the science behind the ice, feel free to check out this website for a great explanation!) There is one caveat, however – this works best for drinks that are already somewhat cooled off. If you’re trying to cool off warm drinks quickly, then small ice cubes will actually do the job faster (remember… more surface area means ice melts more quickly, which will cool a warm drink faster, but it will also water it down substantially). Did I confuse the situation with that caveat?
Just remember this – if you don’t want watered down camping cocktails, grab a cool mixer (soda, bloody mary mix, etc.), add your alcohol, and plop a nice, solid, cube of mini block ice into your cup! The ice melts slowly and your drink stays strong. And that’s really the end game, isn’t it? No one wants a watered down cocktail! And these go a long way to solve that problem!
The silicone ice trays are inexpensive and easy to order through Amazon here. We make a good solid supply before we head out camping. I only have two trays. Each makes 8 cubes. You do the math… that doesn’t make for very many cool refreshing cocktails does it? So I make several trays over the course of the day or two before we leave. (They actually take a fair amount of time to fully freeze so keep that in mind.) Freeze a couple trays, empty them out into a gallon size zip top bag, freeze a couple more trays, place into the zip top bag, etc. Repeat as necessary. They line up neatly into the freezer bags and stack perfectly in our RV fridge or cooler. Then when we’re ready for that campsite cocktail, we’re all ready to go! We did this for our 5 days of dry camping at Country Thunder and it worked like a champ! We went through far less bagged ice, it took up less freezer/cooler space, and saved us a ton of money (they charge $10/bag at some of those music festivals). We even had a bunch left over!
Here’s to my brother-in-law who never stops educating us (whether we want it or not! lol!)…. Cheers!
Here are a couple of our favorite cocktails. They’re SO much better with this ice!