"Let’s get shots!” - a phrase that evokes mixed emotions. I am not sure anyone truly enjoys the taste of throwing back a small glass of bottom-shelf vodka, yet there’s an undeniable draw to the shared experience that is a round of shots. This was the inspiration behind our venture: capturing that experience – a moment shared with friends on a night out – but transforming it into something playful and genuinely delicious.
At Icenine, we have created a completely new drinking experience: bite-sized ice spheres filled with quality spirits. We’ve designed these ice spheres to burst in your mouth, resulting in an explosion of flavour and a unique experience. Pop our margarita-inspired Icenine into your mouth and you’ll first taste the citrusy lime shell with a hint of salt cutting through. Then, after nine seconds, the refreshing shell will burst open to release liquid tequila. The low freezing point of alcohol means the centre remains liquid while the outside is frozen. By combining different shell flavours and spirit fillings, we can create hundreds of different flavour combinations that mean you’ll never have to down your shot with a shudder again.
My co-founder and I have been working on Icenine for just over a year. In 2022 we focused on developing and testing our product, trialling it at private events, parties and a nightclub in Soho – all to great success. Through a huge amount of experimentation, we developed a scalable manufacturing process to bring us to launch and with careful analysis we created a detailed business plan with cost estimates for the next three years for employees, production spaces, machinery, R&D spending, utilities, patents, packaging, transport, and much more.
We were delighted to close our Pre-Seed funding round at the start of this year, with six angel investors collectively investing £150,000. We have also secured a strategic partnership with Husky Intelligent Fridges BV, a subsidiary of Husky International. Together, we are creating custom Icenine freezer units which venues will use to store, display and serve Icenines. Now we’re rapidly working towards our official launch this summer: building a bespoke production line, creating eye-catching packaging, developing striking freezer units, and – of course – formulating even more fabulous flavours.
With so many concurrent projects, it’s an exciting but busy time at Icenine. Tonbridge prepared me well for the challenge of my entrepreneurial journey, particularly when it comes to working at such a high intensity in a way that’s not just sustainable but enjoyable. As our CTO, I’ve found myself frequently utilising the practical skills I gained through countless afternoons and evenings in Tonbridge’s Design Technology workshops, as well as the technical problem-solving skills which I started developing in the classrooms and then refined through my Mechanical Engineering degree at Cambridge.
We would love you to follow Icenine’s journey: you can find us on LinkedIn or sign up for our mailing list through our website at icenine-drinks.com. Please also feel free to reach out directly if you would like to learn more about Icenine or know somebody who can help us on our way.
Max Medhurst (WW 10-15)