Navy Strength Ice Co, Melbourne

Michael Madrusan

Michael Madrusan

Navy Strength Ice Co is crafting Australia's coolest ice.

Anyone who's had a cocktail at Melbourne's The Everleigh (our 2013 Bar of the Year) knows that owner Michael Madrusan is a stickler for integrity, be it in recipe, booze, garnish or vessel. Now that he's opened Navy Strength Ice Co, Australia's first boutique hand-cut ice company, even the ice has integrity. "If you're going to make the best-quality drink you can, you have to consider the ice," he says. "The ice we're making is perfectly clear, so it looks good and is free of any taint or odour, and is a purer, harder block so it keeps the drink cool but dilutes it more slowly than regular ice." Navy Strength operates from The Everleigh using two imported Clinebell machines that can each make a 150kg block of ice every three days using super-filtrated water. The blocks are cut to order using a Japanese ice saw, then a butchers' bandsaw. Each larger block makes about 800 standard-drink ice blocks which can be delivered straight to the doors of Melbourne's restaurants, cafés and bars in Navy Strength's refrigerated van. According to Madrusan, this is just the beginning of his crusade to rid bars of substandard ice. "The plan is to expand to a full factory that can make about 20,000 blocks a week," he says. Word is, he's also in very early talks about extending the crusade to Sydney. Now that's a lot of integrity.

Navy Strength Ice Co, 150-156 Gertrude St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9416 2229


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Scandi-chic kitchenware
Chopsticks for every occasion
Serving trays
This is how the founder of Aerin throws a dinner party
Outdoor dining
The Gourmet Traveller Christmas Boutique extends opening hours
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Gourmet Christmas gift guide

It’s better to give than to receive. Unless, of course, the ...

Gourmet Traveller Christmas gift guide

Looking for the perfect gift for the gourmet traveller in yo...

Mother's Day gift guide

Need inspiration for the perfect Mother's Day gift? Look no ...

Attention to detail

Bold prints and tribal accents are dominating the catwalk, a...

Glam packed

Make the case for a night on the town by stashing these spar...

Man vs wild

Gentlemen, beat a stylish winter retreat in effortless essen...

Colour coded

Liberate your inner artist and step into a colourful new wor...

Father's Day gift guide

Whether dad's a cook, an entertainer or a frequent flyer, we...

Disport yourself

Fun and fitting for sport and lounge, these urban casuals wi...

Stylish kitchen products

Looking for a statement piece for your kitchen? Or a product...

Essential travel products

Whether your travel is of the long-haul or armchair variety,...

Party season products

Our favourite kitchen and travel products of the month.

2013 Christmas gift guide

From crystal desktop booze bars to designer beach towels her...

Gourmet Traveller's best books of 2013

We’ve seen a bumper crop in food publishing. Pat Nourse pick...

In full bloom

While the dining table is at the centre of any Christmas cel...