Rules for ice houses can be complex, but they’re usually pretty simple.
These rules can include the number of guests, the size of the house, and, perhaps most importantly, whether you should serve the ice with water or milk.
When it comes to ice houses, that last part is actually pretty important.
Ice house rules vary by state, but California’s rules generally boil down to two basic things: 1) Do not serve ice with milk 2) Do serve ice only to guests who have registered with the owner.
When the rules were first written in the late 1990s, most people assumed they were meant to be followed everywhere, and they were.
But after the California Ice House Owners Association sued the state in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the Ice House Rules case that they were unconstitutional.
The ruling found that “the purpose of the [ice house] rule is not to promote a particular type of behavior but to promote the general public health and safety, and thus to avoid the kind of public health hazards that the rule is intended to prevent.”
For those of you who have never had ice, here’s the gist of what the rule says: “You may not serve chilled ice with either water or non-fat milk.
You may not make ice at home without the prior written consent of the owner.”
That last part was the biggest clue that the Ice Houses Rules were unconstitutional: “The Legislature intended that the purpose of this rule is to prevent public health hazard.”
So now, the Icehouse Rules are in effect everywhere.
And for those of us who have actually experienced the icy fun of ice house dining, you’ll probably have a good chuckle about how they’re supposed to be.
If you want to go to a ice house, make sure you register with the IceHouse Rules.