Why Do Restaurants Put So Much Ice In Drinks: 3 Secret Revelations

By now you might have seen that restaurants usually fill the glass with ice if the beverage is one that is usually enjoyed with them. Everyone probably enjoys the taste, freshness, and cold and refreshing feeling that it brings you but the question still lingers, why do restaurants put so much in the drink first place?

In this article I will explain the reasons behind that and what do restaurants really gain for doing so. In addition, I will go more in-depth for some additional aspects of ice and drinks. But first, let’s take the main question under the microscope.

In short, restaurants use ice in order to serve less soda which will save them money and serve the drink as cold as possible so the customer can enjoy a refreshing glass of drink. In addition, in some situations, ice might be in favor of the taste and flavor of the drink, in a glass of whiskey for example.

Let’s take a closer look at the aspects above more in-depth way so we can fully understand what are the restaurants after when serving a drink filled with ice cubes.

Why do restaurants put so much ice in drinks

There are 3 main reasons why restaurants use ice with drinks and they are temperature, price, and taste. Let’s start with the first of them.


When the drink is served with a lot of ice it will decrease the temperature of the drinks drastically making it so cold as it possibly can be, therefore the refreshing effect is just pure pleasure. We all know the feeling when on a hot summer day you are served with a drink filled with ice and how good it really tastes when compared to a drink that is barely refrigerator cool.


Another reason for the restaurants to use so much ice is definitely that they can serve less liquid this way which will result in saved money and more profit. Think about it, ice will take quite a lot of space from the glass and if it is filled with them, it will take more than 50% of space so it will really increase the profit margins on that specific drink which is served with so much ice.

However, if the customer asks for the beverage without ice it may still be the same amount of liquid and you can really see it with the glass filled maybe 3/4 and many times lower than that. Therefore I always personally prefer my drink with water but I understand if some people don’t like the diluting effect that ice will result in.


What comes to the taste, ice can be beneficial in many cases however this does vary a lot because the ice in beverages divides people in the opposite direction. Many people like the ice-cold taste with a bit more weak taste. On the other hand, many people swear by it that drinks must be drunk without ice in order to preserve the original taste.

Is Ice bad for you in drinks

Generally, ice is a nice and even required final touch to a perfect drink, however, it can quickly start diluting the drink itself, and depending on what quality water the ice is made, it may even contain bacteria and micro-organisms that aren’t good for you.

In the end, if the water is made from high-quality water that meets the same health standards as the actual water that is served, and the ice is enjoyed with a soda, cocktail, water, or some other drink that doesn’t get super affected from the melted ice.

However for some drinks ice just doesn’t belong. For example, 100% juices, expensive scotch, and other drinks that the melted ice would just ruin. I would advise using reusable stainless steel ice cubes if you want the cold effect that ice has without it dissolving to the actual drink.

Lastly, if you were to drink orange juice with ice, for example, you could make the ice cubes from the actual orange juice, therefore when the ice melts it doesn’t dilute your tasty drink with unwanted water.

Why do restaurants serve ice water

Restaurants serve ice water because it is in high demand within the public because it is so refreshing. Ice water is also a sign of quality especially in the United States but also in other parts of the world as well.

However, in countries where tap water isn’t drinkable, it isn’t really usual to see the ice really anywhere.

Does ice in alcohol make it stronger

When ice melts back to a liquid it will dilute the alcoholic beverage, it won’t make it stronger. This is because ice is water and when water is mixed with alcohol the previous alcohol percentage that the drink contained will get smaller when the liquid part gets bigger when it is added with melted ice.

Is ice in drinks an American thing

In America, it is highly usual that ice is included with the drink however it certainly isn’t the only country to do so. For example, Canada and Scandinavian countries often offer drinks with ice or at least ask the customer if they would like it served with ice.

There are many countries that usually don’t offer ice because the tap water isn’t drinkable or it just isn’t a custom there. Drinks in these countries are usually served chilled and even the glass itself has been kept in the freezer. I have listed countries below where this is usual.

  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Egypt
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Was ice a luxury

Before the year 1913 when the electric refrigerator was invented, and a while after when ice was still harder to accumulate than it is today, ice was indeed a luxury. In fact, before refrigerators ice was stored in underground chambers and only the ultra-rich could afford it at the time.


Writing this article definitely made me thirsty for a refreshing cold drink. As seen there are many reasons why restaurants put so much ice in the drinks and from the restaurant’s perspective, it is totally understandable.

Do you prefer your drinks with or without ice? Let me know by leaving a comment down below!

Read also: Why Don’t Restaurants Have Both Coke And Pepsi?

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Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
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Interested in how this website was made or how to make your own? Start Here

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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