If you know me, you know that I’m surrounded by at least three beverages at all times. My massive water bottle, which I refill approximately a bajillion times a day, is my ride or die. My cold brew is my constant caffeinated companion. And my steady stream of Spindrifts (love you, grapefruit and lemon flavors) inevitably join the party for their daily cameo. We make a very well-hydrated trifecta.

Considering that that is my status quo, imagine the implications now that it’s summer—and now that my family has moved into an apartment with a terrace begging for BBQs, kid playdates, and adult happy hours. And now imagine one more thing: Said apartment does not have a refrigerator with an ice maker.

For my husband and I, who go through several pounds of ice daily, this was a near crisis-level situation. We immediately knew that a countertop nugget ice maker was a mandatory investment for our various hydration goals, so I started to do some digging—and ultimately landed on the Henning Lee 27-Lb Nugget Ice Maker.

Henning Lee 30-Lb Ice Maker

Henning Lee 27-Lb Nugget Ice Maker. — $280.00

Originally $359, now $294

  • Can produce 27 pounds of ice daily
  • Soft, restaurant-style nugget ice
  • Reuses melted ice left in the basket to continue making more ice
  • Quiet!
  • Large size if you’re trying to fit in a small kitchen
  • Pricey when not on sale

The non-negotiables: We needed something that would make a large amount of ice, quickly, for both daily needs and to fill up the cooler for friend hangs (whether we were stocking it out on the terrace or hauling it to the park). I was willing to carve out dedicated space for it in the corner of our dining area, so size wasn’t a concern. And if we could get some extra perks—like a fancy, restaurant-style nugget ice maker as opposed to our usual cubes—that was a bonus.

The Henning Lee checked all of the boxes. Nowadays, we fill it with water and let it do its thing—within five minutes, the first ice has started churning out, and within 30, the basket is full. I usually transfer all my precious nuggets to the freezer at this point so I can scoop throughout the day and let the ice maker continue churning as needed. But heads up, if you do leave the ice in the maker, the Henning Lee will take any melt-off and reuse it to keep making more ice (genius).

I work from home about 10 feet away from the machine, and its quiet hum is completely undetectable on my steady stream of Zoom calls. Now every beverage I sip—gallons of water, copious cold brew, a glass of Spindrift, or Friday night mezcal—is perfectly chilled with soft, crunchy ice. Summer is officially on the rocks.

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