There's no getting around it: buying an electric ice crusher for your home bar is frivolous. Well, maybe not frivolous. Extravagant. It's definitely extravagant. But it's also very, very nice.
I thought about buying a manual ice crusher, but there didn't seem much point in that. They weren't that much cheaper than the electric kind, and it seemed that they didn't work nearly as well. Plus, you still had to use elbow grease to get the thing to work, and I'm lazy.
A then I discovered the Waring Pro IC70 Professional Stainless-Steel Large-Capacity Ice Crusher. Isn't that a great name? I found it while browsing on Amazon and was interested. I've had the same Waring Bar Blender for almost 10 years now and it's always worked great, so I figured their ice crusher was probably good, too. Then when I saw on bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler's page that this is the ice crusher he uses, I was sold.
As befits the Waring name, the IC70 is a great piece of equipment. I've been using it for a couple months now and I couldn't be happier with it. It has a funnel-shaped opening at the top where you dump in the ice, and a large bin at the bottom to catch the finished product. In between is where the magic happens.
The crushed ice the IC70 makes consists of small, irregular pieces about the size of a marble. I took a picture -- the individual pieces of ice don't show up great, but it gives you the idea.
The IC70 doesn't make the finely crushed or powdered ice that you need to make a Mint Julep or snow cone. For that you'll still need to get out the Lewis bag. But unless you're hosting a Kentucky Derby party, you probably don't make that many juleps anyway.
The funnel at the top holds a good double-handful of ice, and the bin at the bottom will hold 12 cups. So you can crush a ton of ice with this baby in no time at all.
Unless you have a real affection for crushed ice -- or make a lot of Tiki drinks -- it probably doesn't make much sense to buy an appliance like this. If nothing else, it takes up room on your countertop. However, if you do like a lot of crushed ice, this is the ideal machine to buy. I love it.