Missed out on the Kickstarter campaign? No worries! Head to http://www.studioneat.com/products/neaticekit to order a Neat Ice Kit.
Hi Kickstarter! We're back with a new project, one that we think you will really dig. Especially if you take your at-home cocktails seriously.
We both love making cocktails at home, whether it's something simple like a Gin & Tonic, or something more fancy like an Old Fashioned or Mint Julep. One thing that has been missing though, and is often overlooked, is the right kind of ice for various cocktails. That's why we made the Neat Ice Kit.
Fancy cocktail bars often have a dedicated ice program, where they use expensive machines to freeze large blocks of ice they then cut with chainsaws and ice picks. The result is beautifully clear ice – the holy grail of cocktail ice – but it's unattainable for someone making cocktails at home. Until now.
We wanted to create something that made it easy and fun to create beautiful cocktail ice, right at home. After months and months of prototyping, we've arrived at something we think is pretty great, and will add a ton of fun to your at-home cocktail making.
What is included in the Neat Ice Kit?
The Neat Ice Kit includes:
- An ice mold
- An ice chisel, with built-in bottle opener
- A Lewis bag, for making crushed ice
- A wooden muddler, also used as a club with the ice chisel and Lewis bag
The Neat Ice Kit contains everything you need to create 3 distinct types of ice, which cover the gamut of cocktails.
1. A big-ass, crystal clear ice cube.
Break the ice brick in half, and you have a perfectly clear cube. This is perfect for drinks like the Old Fashioned, where slow dilution is required. Plus, it looks amazing in a rocks glass. The "cloudy" half of the ice brick can be used in a shaker or stirring glass.
2. Large ice chunks.
Using the included ice chisel, break the ice brick into chucks. These will work in any drink, and are especially useful in tall and narrow drinks like the Tom Collins.
3. Crushed ice.
With the old school Lewis Bag and the wooden muddler, you can create the perfect ice for summertime drinks like the Mint Julep.
How Does It Work?
Science, my friends. Using an insulated ice mold, the water freezes from the top down, rather than from the outside in. This pushes trapped air and impurities to the bottom, resulting in a brick of ice that is perfectly clear in the top half. As far as we know, this is one of the only products for producing ice of this quality at home.
The Neat Ice Kit is the result of over 9 months of trying to figure out how to make clear ice at home. As the photo below indicates, we went through lots of prototypes, in every conceivable shape and size. Our wives have noted that our freezers have turned into "science laboratories." We extensively researched the science behind water freezing and thermal insulation, and have learned a lot along the way. We are happy with the design we landed at; not only does it produce beautifully clear ice, but adds a lot of fun to the cocktail making process.
We have already reached out to several manufacturers to get quotes for the various parts that make up the Neat Ice Kit. The designs of the lewis bag, muddler, ice chisel, and silicone ice cup are all finalized. We are pursuing two different design options for the foam insulation piece, and have quotes for both options. This will come more into focus when we have a better idea of how many we need to produce.
The silicone ice cup is the only part that requires a mold, so it will likely be the piece that takes the longest to manufacture. All other pieces of the Neat Ice Kit are made using processes that don't require extensive tooling.
As you may have noticed, the estimated delivery date for the Neat Ice Kit is April 2014. This is a very conservative estimate, based on our past experience with bringing hardware products to market, knowing that things always take longer than estimated. However, if things go moderately smoothly we hope to deliver well before that estimate.
Aside from the ice chisel, every part will be made in the USA. If we can find a manufacturer in the US to do the ice chisel for a reasonable price we would love to do that, but so far our research hasn't found anything that would be cost effective.
Because we already sell and ship hardware products, the order fulfillment aspect is already in place; and if we end up needing kitting help (assembling all the pieces into the package to be shipped) we have already talked to a local company about their services.
Why We Need Your Help
As you can see, the Neat Ice Kit has quite a few parts, which have sizable upfront manufacturing costs. That's why we're here on Kickstarter. With your help, we'd love to make the Neat Ice Kit a reality, and bring at-home cocktails to the next level.
Thanks for checking out our project!
Risks and challenges
This isn't our first rodeo. We've successfully brought two hardware projects to market through Kickstarter, the Glif and the Cosmonaut. That said, all projects face their own unique challenges. The Neat Ice Kit has several parts that need to be coordinated with different vendors. We have contacted all of the manufacturers, identified material choice and process and have obtained quotes, but problems and delays will inevitably arise. We are confident we will be able to overcome them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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