The Best Deluxe Ice Buckets to Chill Out With
No one wants to be an ice queen, do they? If referring to attractive individuals with a cold, off-putting personality, odds are no. However, when it comes to entertaining and serving cocktails that require ice, mastering the cooling techniques for frozen water is a good thing. Crucial to commanding this task is the ice bucket. Nest Casa chips away at the endless amounts of deluxe ice buckets available to find the best ones for any type of setting or occasion.
What to Consider When Choosing an Ice Bucket
There are several factors to take into consideration when buying an ice bucket. First, generally speaking, how many drinks or guests are you preparing to serve? Most standard ice buckets hold a tray or two of cubes. Another question is: How long do you need the ice to last? It's key to know that ice buckets usually keep ice frozen for four to 18 hours, depending on its material and size as well as where it's being used (obviously, a bucket left out in the sun won't last as long as one in a cool, dark spot).
Ice buckets also eventually cause condensation to build on their exteriors, so having a tray to place it on or a stand to hold it is also something to think about. The most popular materials are stainless steel and insulated plastic (like acrylic), but they can also arrive in glass, silver, and even wood. A decorative shell is often added, which can be made from almost anything. Following are options suited for every taste, price point, and décor
Editor's Picks: Best Deluxe Ice Buckets
One of the best looking ice buckets available is this black lacquer and horn style from Arca Horn. The beauty of this exquisite style is its graphic, demonstrative shape. This bucket—which is lined in a round, stainless-steel holder to keep frozen cubes chilled—also includes coordinating stainless-steel tongs.
Moda Operandi co-founder and chief brand officer Lauren Santo Domingo have infused her impeccable good taste and style in this Moda Domus ice bucket. Part of the online retailer’s home basics collection, the raffia bucket was drawn from a vintage homeware design that Santo Domingo sourced. Plus, it has a nifty built-in strainer to help drain the bucket.
Italian designer Mario Luca Giusti has cornered the market on chic, outdoor- and pool-friendly glassware (except that it's acrylic, not glass to avoid dangerous breakages that are more prevalent with outdoor use.) Giusti takes inspiration from cut crystal stemware from brands such as Baccarat when creating his irresistible designs. This geometric-faceted ice bucket, shown here in amber, comes in an array of lively colors that coordinate back to the equally charming stemware, pitchers, and serving pieces (all in the shatter-proof material).
In the past, silver was brought out only on special occasions. Thankfully, those days are over. You'll want to permanently display this Dante ice bucket from Robbe & Berking: a fine example of handmade German craftsmanship in fortified silverplate. Plus, there’s no need to worry about polishing since this vessel cleans up safely in the dishwasher.
Porcelain isn't just for keeping that cup of tea warm. Its insulating properties also do double duty keeping ice cool. Ralph Lauren Home's Wyatt ice bucket pairs fine navy-blue and white porcelain with a navy-blue leather carrier strap. The piece is accented with gold hardware, presenting a sea-worthy salute on your table at your next gathering.
Another winner from Ralph Lauren Home is the Garrett leather and canvas ice bucket. Brass hardware details result in an equestrian feeling for this thoroughbred of a bar accessory. This beautiful piece crosses the entertaining finish line in grand form.
Even the most successful hosts can sometimes use a bit of help in getting the party started. Enter Jonathan Adler's Globo acrylic and brass ice bucket. Playful and witty designs are a staple chez Adler. This is evident in the beaming, green orb that tops the brass base, which looks more like a UFO complete with a landing pad than a place to keep your cubes cold. Answering the many "What is that?" queries has the makings of a good party game.
Sometimes, you have to pull out all the stops. Want your next gig to serve up some over-the-top but classy Eighties glam? Made from top-quality lead crystal, the Baccarat Harmonie ice bucket with a graphic, linear cut boasts a fierce silhouette. The chrome handle adds to its excessive and dramatic look.
The Lacquer Company and Rita Konig have paired up to deliver a sultry yet modern, red-lacquer ice bucket that can easily be mistaken for a stylish objet. Made of natural lacquer from trees in Southeast Asia, this exotic and glossy vessel is lined with stainless steel to keep ice at just the right temperature for a cocktail.
Functional, clean, and (perhaps)ironic all describe this unique ice bucket. Crafted in lucite and chrome, this one-of-a-kind vintage piece sourced from Vermilion Designs looks like a block of ice carved from a glacier. Its satellite-esque handle recalls the Space Race era from which it hails.