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Article: The Beginner's Guide to Ice Buckets

The Beginner's Guide to Ice Buckets
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The Beginner's Guide to Ice Buckets

As you prepare to host your next special occasion, you need one specific item before the clinking sounds of Champagne toasts can fill the room: the ice bucket. Whether you already know and love this timeless wine accessory or have never heard of this useful product, we know one thing for certain: every host needs one in their collection. 

If you want to keep your bubbly cold all night long, you're in luck. Learn a bit more about the many benefits and uses of a Champagne bucket and get an inside look at how we use our favorite ice bucket designs at a party

How Does an Ice Bucket Work?

An ice bucket isn't just beloved for its beautiful designs {though that is one of the many reasons our family loves them}. In fact, one of these buckets is the best way to serve a drink cold without having to store it in the fridge or freezer. Ice buckets are containers designed to provide insulation, preventing ice from melting too quickly and trapping the cold air to keep your bottles chilled and ready to pour. This ensures that your bubbles will stay cool throughout your entire event, making hosting even easier. 

Why Every Host Needs an Ice Bucket

An ice bucket is a hosting essential because it enhances the presentation, demonstrates hospitality, and ensures that your beverages remain chilled throughout the duration of the party. Often, this entertaining essential is overlooked, but it’s worth it for the convenience alone. Instead of making frequent trips to the kitchen throughout your gathering, an ice bucket offers easy self-service pouring from wherever you’re hosting.  

The simple act of putting a drink in an ice bucket adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any occasion. It elevates the overall look of your tablescape, creating a visually appealing centerpiece for your table or bar area. Providing guests with refreshingly chilled beverages demonstrates your expert hospitality, letting them know you've taken the time to consider their comfort and enjoyment. 

Ice buckets are also incredibly versatile. While mainly used for chilling or containing served-cold bottles like wine and Champagne, they can also be a source for self-serving and scooping ice into individual glasses {or even double as a makeshift vase in a pinch}. 

What Can You Put in an Ice Bucket?

Although ice buckets are traditionally designed to keep high-quality Champagne cold, we recommend using them for any bottled beverage of choice, from a bottle of apple cider to sparkling grape juice and beyond. 

Consider using your Champagne bucket to hold the following:

When to Use an Ice Bucket at a Party

Ultimately, the decision to use an ice bucket depends on the specific circumstances of your gathering, as well as your hosting preferences. Whether you're entertaining guests, enjoying a quiet night at home, or hosting outdoors, a bar-top ice bucket can enhance the experience by ensuring the beverages remain chilled and refreshing, no matter the occasion. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re setting a formal tablescape for 20 or inviting close friends over for a casual yet elevated lunch — an ice bucket can be used for any occasion. Not only are they a timeless and stylish bar accessory, but they also ensure that your guests have access to cold drinks throughout the night, encouraging them to mingle over their Champagne and linger around the table.

For any cocktail parties or soirees that focus on the bar area, you can also use an ice bucket at a bar to chill ingredients such as ice cubes, cocktail shakers, or bottles of spirits. This ensures that cocktails are served at the optimal temperature and helps maintain the quality of the ingredients. Encourage your guests to serve themselves or show off your mixologist skills and make their cocktails for them — either way, an ice bucket is a helpful tool to have on hand. 

Our 3 Ice Bucket Designs

If you're curating your serveware collection, it's important to have versatile and stylish Champagne buckets that work in table settings for any occasion. That's why we've designed three that we love to use any chance we get: 

1. Celebrate with Our Deco Gold Scallop Ice Bucket

    Whether you're looking for a stunning bar accessory for around-the-clock décor or a stylish way to keep your favorite Champagne on ice during an event, the Deco Gold Scallop ice bucket fits the bill. Made from versatile white stoneware, this Champagne bucket features a gold scalloped edge at the top and metallic accented side handles. Set the table with the rest of the Deco dinnerware and enhance your favorite design by setting a matching Deco Gold Scallop Dinner Plate underneath or mix and match to make a statement. 

    2. Elevate with Our Black Arabesque Scallop Ice Bucket

      If you're looking for the perfect blend of contemporary and classic, we recommend our Black Arabesque Scallop Ice Bucket. With a bold black and white color scheme and a dramatic scalloped arabesque-shaped edge, this ceramic Champagne bucket pairs beautifully with any home or tabletop décor, quickly becoming a staple in your house.  Add to the stylish look by using a Black Arabesque Dinner Plate as a base layer when setting the table. 

      3. Decorate with Our Signature White Ruffle Ice Bucket

        When it comes to setting the table, everyone loves our go-to Signature White Collection, so much so that we knew we had to go the extra mile and design a matching white ruffle ice bucket. With a classic white ruffle edge and a neutral and timeless white hue, this design is the perfect wine accessory for any event, whether you're matching it with a white dinner plate or pairing it with bold and colorful patterns. 

        What's the Best Material for an Ice Bucket?

        In order to keep the ice frozen and the drinks cold, an ice bucket for a bar needs to be properly temperature regulating. Ice buckets can come in a variety of materials, such as glass, metal, or even fabric and rattan with the correct insulated plastic. However, in our opinion, the best material is ceramic stoneware. 

        How to Use an Ice Bucket in 3 Different Serving Spaces

        Placing an ice bucket filled with ice and beverages in a central location allows guests to help themselves, reducing the need for constant trips to the refrigerator. This helps ensure that everyone can enjoy a crisp, cold drink whenever they want to, which enhances both the gathering and the overall hosting experience. Depending on the formality and setup of your event, you can place the Champagne bucket in these three serving spaces:

        1. Keep the Champagne Bucket on the Home Bar

          One of our go-to spots to keep our Champagne buckets during an event is at the home bar. Whether you set up a fold-out table for an outside event or serve a complete cocktail menu from your built-in wet bar, a Champagne bucket is the best bar accessory for hosting loved ones and toasting successes. Elevate your home bar by choosing an ice bucket that best matches your serving dishes and tablescape to tie it all together. 

          2. Present the Ice Bucket Directly on the Table

            Transform your most intimate gatherings by placing the Champagne bucket directly on your tablescape. In general, we recommend keeping it at one of the ends or corners so guests can easily get up and self-serve without interfering with the main dining experience. 

            If you need to save tabletop space to make room for an elaborate centerpiece, consider keeping it on a small cocktail table attached to the end. For family-style serving, place your bucket in the center with your delicious spread so guests can pass around the chilled bottle. 

            Pro tip: for any non-insulated ice bucket, carefully consider the tabletop on which you're placing the bucket. Over time, an ice bucket may begin to “sweat,” with the condensation potentially leaving a damp ring on the tabletop surface. In this case, it's a good idea to have an absorbent towel close by, or you could layer a plate or platter underneath the foot to catch the drips. 

            3. Add Your Champagne Bucket to the Buffet Table

              An ice bucket is the perfect way to add even more sophistication when setting a buffet table. Place it next to corresponding cocktail glasses or Champagne flutes at the end of the buffet table so guests can fill their cups before they sit down to eat. Keep an eye on the bottle so that you can replenish it throughout the gathering to keep the good times and delicious drinks flowing.   

              We also often set up a separate table for drinks to keep the natural flow of the gathering going. That way, no guest has to wait in line with those getting seconds {or thirds} from the serving dishes. Instead, they can go directly to the table with the Champagne bucket and refill their glass. 

              Serving Our Family Favorite Drink Recipes in an Ice Bucket

              When we create signature drinks for one of our curated gatherings, we love to make them in a big batch, place them in a stylish decanter, and serve them on ice. Try including one {or more} of these at your next soirée:

              • Classic Margarita: with tart lime juice, quality tequila, and sweet agave, this cocktail is a crowd pleaser, whether they prefer salt or sugar rims. 
              • French 75: with gin, sugar, and lavender, this elevated Champagne-based beverage brings elegance to any tablescape. 
              • Aperol Spritz: with fizzy prosecco and aromatic Aperol liquor, this refreshing cocktail is a burst of summertime flavor that works for any event, from poolside dining to charcuterie nights. 
              • Perfect Paloma: with crisp grapefruit and lime, sparkling club soda, simple syrup, and white tequila, this cocktail packs a flavorful punch at any party.
              • Classic Champagne Cocktail: with your favorite Champagne brand, a sweet sugar cube, and a citrus twist, this modern twist on a classic favorite is best served cold—in a Champagne bucket, of course. 

              When Should You Put an Ice Bucket Out Before an Event?

              Ice buckets are used to keep drinks cold for hours at a time, but when is the most opportune moment to place them out before the party starts? We recommend filling your Champagne bucket with ice and your beverage of choice about 20 to 30 minutes before guests arrive, to ensure that the very first pour is refreshing and ready. If your event is outside, wait until guests are about to arrive to put your Champagne buckets out to avoid early melting. 

              5 Alternative Ways to Use an Ice Bucket

              We love to show off our favorite bar accessories as home décor whenever possible. When you don't need your Champagne bucket for a gathering, try one of these alternative uses: 

              1. In a pinch, a Champagne bucket works beautifully in place of a vase. Use this traditional wine accessory to show off your freshly picked blooms on your tablescape or pot a house plant for your patio. 
              2. For quick and easy service, fill your Champagne bucket with rolled-up cloth napkins for guests to grab as needed during a casual event.
              3. If you aren't serving bottled beverages, your Champagne bucket can be used to hold ice cubes, working as a helpful bar accessory for guests to serve themselves. Keep a pretty pair of tongs nearby. 
              4. For summertime parties with no alcohol on the menu, fill an ice bucket with your family's favorite popsicles and ice cream bars. 
              5. Store specialized bar and serving utensils in an ice bucket, either in a China cabinet with the other decorative plates on display or on the bar with the rest of your bar accessories
              One thing is clear: no host’s home is complete without a stylish and versatile Champagne bucket. Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for new homeowners or a new wine accessory for your home bar, our ice bucket designs are the perfect choice.

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