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Nick's Picks: Cristallino Ice Company

In the back of the bitters-tasting room and bar supply store that he owns with partner Megan Goodney on Richmond Street, Bar Mecca, Ralph DiTucci toils with 300-pound slabs of ice. DiTucci, who also operates Cristallino Ice Company, will eventually break those slabs into various shapes for use in cocktails at bars around Rochester.

While most consumer ice has a cloudy, white appearance, Cristallino ice is completely clear and see-through. DiTucci achieves this glasslike look with a process called directional freezing wherein all of the gases and minerals contained in the freezing water are slowly compressed out of the finished ice product. Because of its translucent nature, DiTucci frequently freezes items in the ice for special events. Cristallino’s Facebook page has a picture of crystal clear ice with a Superman figurine inside made to celebrate the “superhero” bartenders of Rochester Cocktail Revival week, and there’s also a block of ice with a seashell inclusion, perfect for summer patio drinking.

For traditionalists, Cristallino also keeps old fashioned two- by two- by two-and-a-half–inch cocktail cubes in stock. The purity of each cube allows the ice to remain frozen for long periods of time, reducing the amount of water that melts into a drink.

To see DiTucci’s premium ice creations, visit

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