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How to Make Simple Syrup

19 Oct

One of the biggest time-savers in preparing shave ice syrups is pre-making the simple syrup and adding concentrate as needed. Here is our recipe:

5 lbs. sugar + 2 quarts water = 1 gallon of simple syrup

25 lbs sugar + 3 gallons water = 5 gallons of simple syrup

The hotter the water the better, as it dissolves the sugar faster. It will become clear and thicken as it cools. One option is to actually boil the syrup for 3-5 minutes, resulting in a sweeter, thicker syrup. The cooking process breaks down the sugar into two simple sugars, fructose and glucose, increasing its sweetness up to 24%. Although it is not necessary to boil it in order to make a delicious syrup, the shelf life will increase since bacteria has been killed during the cooking process. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the extra time and general inconvenience. Happy syrup making!

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The Importance of Tempering Ice

8 Aug

As you’ve all probably heard by now, it’s is MUY IMPORTANTE that your ice is tempered before shaving. Why, you ask? Don’t ask, just do it. Depending on the type of shave ice business that you have, the flow of customers will vary and so will the timing of taking out a block of ice to temper.

Ice is a funny thing and it reacts differently to temperature, environments (have you ever shaved ice outside with a breeze? Literally, hell), and other variables. In our experience, if your ice is too cold/hard, the shavings will not adhere to each other or hold its shape. Don’t ask us why, we’re not scientists, we just know it happens :O There is even the occasion when ice is SO cold that the shavings  freeze back together, losing its soft, fluffy texture.  Not to mention very hard ice is harsh on your blade. When you first take a block of ice out of the freezer, it’s opaque. When your bring your ice out to temper, you want it to “sweat” and have a glossy, clear appearance. This is will give the best shave.

Before tempering: ice has a cloudy, opaque appearance.

After tempering: ice has a glossy, clear appearance

Whats is Tigers Blood Flavor?

24 Jun

Near the top of the list of our FAQ’s is “What is tigers blood?”. Generally this is followed by a smirk and a snide remark about Charlie Sheen. But, sadly, the celebrity with Adonis DNA did not originate the popular shave ice flavor.

Tigers blood has been around for decades and is here to stay, originating in the South and later making its way to the Hawaiian islands. Variations are found from place to place, but our favorite version is strawberry, watermelon, with a hint of coconut.You will often find cherry, strawberry, watermelon, and coconut or just strawberry and coconut. Either way, we’ve never met a tigers blood we didn’t like. It’s grrrrrreat!

What Makes an Authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice?

22 Jun

Hawaiian shave ice is a simple treat, right? Ice, syrup, maybe some ice cream and a topping or two. But what truly makes a Hawaiian shave ice authentic? Any shave ice business owner who truly cares about their product knows that it’s the subtleties which make the magic happen.

The make it or break it of any shave ice will be the machine. If you’re scooping ice cubes into it, you go straight to jail, do not pass go nor collect $200. The only way to get the finest shave possible is to use block ice. You can choose to make the ice yourself with molds, purchase the ice from a big box store, or mass produce ice blocks with a commercial block ice machine. Whichever you decide, a high quality machine is key and albeit expensive, will be the best investment you can make. There are a few brands to choose from, which we will cover in another post, but plan on paying anywhere from $1,700-$2,000 for a new machine. Trust us, the right machine is vital to your income’s lifeline.

The ideal Hawaiian shave ice should always have a melt-in-your mouth texture, super fine and fluffy. That means zero crunch action. Be sure to maintain the perfect amount of syrup distributed throughout because the one thing that will bring any shave ice consumer down from their sugar high is discovering naked ice. Although not every shave ice connossieur will want additional yummies with their shave ice, they still want to know it’s available, so be sure to carry at least the basics; vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and li hing mui powder. Keep it light, sweet, and flavorful and you’re well on your way to making authentic Hawaiian shave ice.


Shave Ice By Any Other Name

19 Jun

…would not taste as sweet. Across the world, you will find a variation of shave ice. Raspados, kakigori, juski…In the Hawaiian islands, it is most commonly referred to shave ice and less commonly as ice shave. That’s right folks, shave with no D, not shaved. If you are on your way to starting up an authentic Hawaiian shave ice business, be sure to get it right. People will notice. And may the Shave Ice gods help you if you call it a snow cone.