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Good spirits all round - UK’s ice king of cocktails revealed

08 July 2016 Posted by Admin

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Spirits were high on 5th July 2016 as Thomas Cole, from Dirty Martini UK, was crowned as the UK’s top bartender after emerging victorious at the inaugural Cocktails on Ice competition held by leading ice maker, Ice-O-Matic, at Imbibe Live in London. Scooping the stunning prize of a coveted stay at Sweden’s renowned IceHotel, Thomas, was one of four Finalists to go head-to-head at Ice-o-Matics event, compered by Love Company’s renowned Russell Burgess. Spectators were held enthralled by the talent for mixology that the four demonstrated - not to mention the ingenious and exceptional use of ice that was evidenced in the cocktails [More]

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Classeq Identifies The UK's Favourite Cocktail...

01 July 2013 Posted by Admin

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Classeq confirms the nation’s favourite cocktail following an extensive survey across the UK.  According to a poll of over 300 people across the UK, the nation’s favourite cocktail is the Mojito.   As summer finally appears to be with us, and the social programme from Ascot to Henley and Wimbledon is upon us, there are more opportunities to enjoy a refreshing cocktail in the sunshine.     Classeq undertook a survey to see what the nation liked to drink and are delighted to be able to announce the top ten:   1.Mojito 2.Margarita 3.Kir Royale 4.Bloody Mary 5.Strawberry Daiquiri 6.Long Island Iced Tea 7.Martini 8.Cosmopolitan 9.Bellini 10.Sex On The Beach   Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq appreciates the components that make up a good cocktail, “At Classeq we not only supply ice machines to provide the perfect ice for a great drink but also glasswashers that are made here in the UK and ensure that the cocktail glass is clean and ready to use too.”   A mojito cocktail is the perfect summer drink with its refreshing hit of mint and lime and can be made as follows:   Ingredients 1½ limes, cut into small wedges Handful of  fresh mint leaves 2½ tsp granulated sugar Handful of ice 65ml/2½fl oz white rum A splash soda water, to taste Fresh mint sprig, to garnish   Method 1 - Place the limes, mint and sugar into a sturdy, clean highball glass and mash with the end of a clean rolling pin, to bruise the mint and release the lime juice into the glass. 2 - Add the ice and pour over the rum. 3 - Add soda water to taste and stir well.  4 - Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and serve.   Nick continues, “We are the leading suppliers of the Ice-O-Matic ice machines in the UK which have every commercial ice making requirement covered, from coffee shop to busy pubs, bars and restaurants, offering a range of machines from small under the counter machines to those with large storage bins, with ice options such as ice cubes, flaked ice and nuggets.”   “For the perfect cocktail glasses need to be clean and cool ready to use too,” Nick continues.   Enjoy the summer with your favourite cocktail!

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Pushing Forward With Ice-O-Matic As Summer Rolls In

29 June 2013 Posted by Admin

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Classeq has released a guide to the different types of ice that are available from its range of ice machines in a bid to increase the use of different types of ice throughout the UK.  As the distributor of Ice-O-Matic ice machines in the UK, Classeq is well placed to provide advice to maximise the benefits of these machines to users across the UK.   Classeq are encouraging bars, hotels and restaurants to be prepared to offer a diverse range of ice products with drinks, bearing in mind that the diversity of drinks menus todays means that often there is a need for more than one type of ice.  Gone are the days when 'one size fits all.'   As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq explains, "while ice machines can produce ice in a variety of shapes and sizes, not all ice is suitable for the same application.  For example, ice served in a cocktail isn't suitable for blended drinks."   Essentially, there are five types of ice and depending on the size of the establishment and the overall drinks mix offered to customers will determine which machines will provide the best return on any investment made.   Half Cube Ice - This small, easy-to-handle ice is perfect for blended drinks because it breaks down easily and creates a smoother finish   Full Cube Ice - A long-lasting and larger cube that looks good in drinks and cocktails.  It is also ideal for large volume applications like bagging and bulk cooling.   Gourmet Cube Ice - These ice cubes are cylindrical shaped, crystal clear cubes that enhance any drink and are especially suited to upmarket venues such as fine dining restaurants, receptions and convention centres.   Pearl Ice - Soft and chewable, pearl ice dispenses smoothly and displaces liquid better than cubes.  It is great for smoothies and other soft drinks.   Flake Ice - The best ice for maintaining hydration and extending shelf life and the appearance of seafood and for use in cocktails.   Ice is a versatile product and as such care needs to be taken to make sure that you are using the best ice for the specific purpose.  Classeq, through it's range of Ice-O-Matic machines are well placed to help you in that decision making process.   Get in touch today to find out more.  

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Make Sure Your Ice Is Not Covered In Bacteria!

20 June 2013 Posted by Admin

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Classeq provides advice to make sure your ice is in tip-top condition to minimise the risk of contamination.   According to recent research by the Health Protection Agency, dirty ice is being served at almost one in three pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, putting the health of customers at risk.  Tests carried out on ice, ice machines and utensils carried out by the HPA at 88 establishments identified that 30% showed clear evidence of poor hygiene.   One of the major problems identified was the failure to clean machines and scoops used to fill glasses and cups, clearly not acceptable to the paying customer who are at risk.    Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq understand the risk but as he explains, “At Classeq we are the leading suppliers of the Ice-o-Matic ice machines in the UK which have every commercial ice making requirement covered, from coffee shop to busy pubs, bars and restaurants, from small under the counter machines to those with large storage bins, with ice options such as ice cubes, flaked ice and nuggets.” “Ice is defined as food and a requirement of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 is that it must be made, stored and handled so that it is not contaminated, and therefore the onus is on the staff and management to comply with the regulations,” Nick continues.   Clearly, there is an issue with contamination that occurs and there are three main causes of contamination: 1 – Physical contaminants such as dust, dirt, raw food, pests and people 2 – Chemical contaminants due to misuse of cleaning and maintenance chemicals 3 – Contaminated utensils such as scoops and other ice lifting utensils that come into contact with people, raw foods and other objects containing bacteria before touching the ice.   Nick continues, “There are some basic hygiene rules that need to be followed and below are twelve steps to reduce, and hopefully, eliminate the contamination of ice in an establishment.” 1 - Connect the ice machine directly to the mains water supply, and avoid connecting to a water storage tank. 2 - Site the ice machine in a clean area away from possible sources of contamination such as bins, food preparation areas, chemicals etc. 3 - Always use the ice machine in accordance with the instructions supplied by the manufacturer 4 - Service the ice machine on a regular basis to ensure it is working appropriately and in hard water areas to ensure no limescale and other deposits are formed. 5 - Clean and sanitise the ice machine at least once a week, including the removal of any unused ice in the machine at the time. 6 - All utensils used to handle ice need to be cleaned and sanitised on a daily basis and checked to make sure they are not damaged. 7 - Use the correct chemicals to clean the machine, in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and to include non-abrasive cleaners, rinsing with clean, fresh water, wiping with a food safe antibacterial cleaner and rinsing thoroughly before reusing the machine. 8 - When using the ice machine, keep the lid closed whenever possible. 9 - Train staff how to use and clean the ice machine appropriately and ensure that all staff clearly understand the handling of edible ice. 10 - Maintain a good practice of personal hygiene and ensure that all staff clean their hands at all time before handling the ice scoops and ice should never be handled by hand. 11 - Never use the ice machine for storage of any other items. 12 - Keep a record of daily cleaning and maintenance ensure that this record is checked and that random spot-checks are undertaken to ensure that processes are followed appropriately.   Nick concludes, “Clearly the risk of ice contamination needs to be addressed but following a strict regime of training staff, cleaning equipment and maintaining best practice should help to  mitigate these risks and ensure that ice supplied is not contaminated and customers are left with a cool, refreshing, drink and no unexpected side effects.” Classeq offer a full range of ice machines to suit the needs of all establishments.   The Ice-o-Matic range enables easy, tool-free removal of key parts for maintaining hygiene standards providing quick and easy cleaning along with a manual self cleaning cycle to make cleaning and sanitising the machines easier.  Generous bin design allows for easy, ergonomic access to the ice for the operator and AgION antibacterial compound used to reduce harmful bacteria growth and maintain food safety between cleaning cycles.     Perfect for helping to minimise the risk of ice contamination.  

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Giving The Juice A Real Boost!

18 April 2013 Posted by Admin

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Classeq provides the right amount of ice to help deliver the growing volume of smoothies and crushes at Boost Juice UK.   The first UK Boost Juice store was opened at the Trafford Centre, Manchester in April 2007 by Richard and Dawn O’Sullivan , along with Martin Burrill & Bill Holroyd, the team behind Millie’s Cookies, and it’s now positioned to be rolled out from its current portfolio of 10 stores to over 50 locations over the next 4 years.   The concept is simple – effectively like a coffee shop but providing you with a juice or smoothie straight, or if you fancy it, supplemented with an extra boost – all natural shots of goodness to give you extra energy or protein, help your detox or give your immunity a boost.   Boost Juice Bar’s range includes: •Low Fat Smoothies: Freshly blended combos of fruit and TD4 low fat yoghurt. •Fruit Crushes: A low fat blends of fruits, ice and sorbet. •Juices: Freshly squeezed, pure juices, with 100% fresh fruit. •Skinnies: Low fat smoothies with even less calories.   One thing that each and every store needs is a good supply of ice and the team turned to Classeq and their range of Ice-o-Matic ice machines which have every commercial ice making requirement covered. From small under the counter machines to large storage bins, these machines also come with ice options such as ice cubes, flaked ice and nuggets.   Dawn O’Sullivan, Director and Founder of Boost Juice UK explains how they got involved with Classeq “We installed one of their ice machines in our very first UK Boost Juice store, back in 2007 and have continued to use them in all our subsequent juice bars.   We make thousands of smoothies and crushes each week, so getting the right quantity and quality of ice is really important to our products and we really put our ice machines to the test!”   Dawn adds, “We’ve found the Classeq ice machines and overall service to be ‘best in class.’  Our store teams gain great confidence from working with such reliable and customer service focused providers.  We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other people!”    As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq concludes, “These machines are not only reliable but they cope well with the demands of these busy stores, and we are delighted to be working with a company like Boost Juice that offer healthy drinks and smoothies.  These machines provide an integral component of each and every drink they make so it is important that our machines can provide the right quality and quantity of ice  throughout the day”   Classeq supply a range of Ice-O-Matic machines to Boost Juice including the ICEU35 self-contained machines which produce 19kg of ice per day and the ICE605 modular machines which produce up to 283kg of ice per day.  

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Ice Cool And Collected

11 April 2013 Posted by Admin

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With Ice-O-Matic you can rest assured you will have the ice just right for those chilled summer drinks.  Classeq offers you a range of ice machines from Ice-O-Matic to give you options when it comes to keeping your customers cool this summer.    As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq explains, “As the summer approaches and we all begin to look forward to those hazy summer days, now is the time to make sure that all businesses serving beverages have thought about their ice requirements.  Nowadays, ice machines can produce ice in a range of shapes and sizes so choosing the right solution is important to ensure you provide your customers with the best drinks possible.”   It is important for bars, hotels, restaurants and cafes are prepared to offer a diverse range of ice products to enhance the consumer experience and in order to do this they first need to decide what is going to be on the menu, what ice is required and how much ice is going to be needed during the peak operating hours.  Armed with this information, choosing the right ice machine becomes a lot simpler.   As Nick explains, “Establishments are having to offer a greater range of drinks than ever before and not all ice is suitable for all drinks.  We offer a range of machines to provide the right ice for the situation, for example half-cube ice is perfect for blended drinks whilst pearl ice is great for smoothies and full cube ice lasts longer in drinks and cocktails.”   Through the distribution of the Ice-O-Matic range of ice machines, Classeq has a large range of affordable ice machines that produce great tasting, perfectly shaped ice every time.  The machines produce long-lasting ice as individual thimbles, cubes, half cubes, pearled ice or flakes.  A simple design also allows for easy access for staff and comes with an AgION antibacterial compound that reduces harmful bacteria growth and maintains the food safety of the ice between cleaning cycles.   As Nick concludes, “The right ice is essential to enable your drinks to be the best they possibly can, enhancing the consumer experience and hopefully resulting in more return visits, helping your business to make the most of the summer too.”  

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The Search Is On To Find The Nation's Favourite Cocktail

11 April 2013 Posted by Admin

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Classeq are well-versed in two of the components of a great cocktail, a clean glass and the right ice, but we are now taking things a step further and asking the nation to help us to identify the favourite cocktails across the UK. A simple and easy to complete questionnaire will help us to decide the best of British when it comes to cocktails and at the same time bring some respite from the long, cold winter that we have all had to endure.  After all, cocktails for many of us remind us of holidays with friends and family, sunshine, beaches and distant shores.   So what will it be?  Mojito, Sex on the Beach, Singapore Sling, Cosmopolitan or one of the other tempting cocktails in the list?   Click here to choose your favourites!   As Nick Burridge, Director of Sales at Classeq points out, "There is a real art to the making of a good cocktail and we thought it would be fun to see which is the favourite cocktail in Britain.  In addition, it gives us all something positive to think about as it brings back fond memories of sunnier times and helps us to think about the, hopefully, great British summer to come!"  

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Getting A Dishwasher That Is Up To The Job

21 August 2012 Posted by Admin

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Many smaller premises such as B & Bs, farmhouse tearooms and small start-up cafes are tempted to struggle on with a domestic dishwasher as they build up their business. However this can be a false economy as domestic dishwashers are not built to withstand the heavy use of a commercial operation, and in fact commercial machines are cheaper to run. Whereas domestic dishwashers are usually designed to perform one wash per day, a commercial machine is designed to go through 30 washes or more per day. As throughput increases, the cycle time of the machine becomes a critical factor and domestic machines struggle to keep up with demand. "A domestic machine usually takes between 45 to 90 minutes per cycle, which is a long time to wait to turn dishes around," explains Nick Burridge of Classeq. "But our smallest model, the Duo 400, only takes 3 minutes per cycle." The Duo 400 is perfect for those who need to step up to a commercial machine. It's a small and affordable front loading dishwasher with a footprint of only 470mm x 550mm and height of 760mm. All Classeq's machines are built in the UK ensuring prompt delivery, comprehensive back-up and speedy access to spare parts. Built for safety, simple clear controls ensure that any member of staff can easily use the Duo 400, while integral chemical dosing pumps ensure accurate dispensing of detergents, saving operators time and money. It has a double-skinned cabinet which makes it quieter in operation and cooler to the touch. The Duo 400's extremely low capacity wash tank, only 10 litres, means a quicker start-up time and lower bills as there is less water to heat than in comparable models. Another energy-saving feature is its full-coverage filter system which keeps the wash water cleaner for longer, resulting in fewer water changes, cleaner plates and lower energy bills.

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