The Boiled Water Method
How To Make Crystal Clear Ice Cubes: A Beginners Guide
Eating out is all about getting an experience you cant get at home: delicious food without having to cook it, attentive service, labor-free cleanup. One other special perk? Perfectly clear ice cubes in your drink.
Lately, fancy cocktail bars and restaurants have been upping their game and making sure that cocktails are served with clear ice that allows you to enjoy the look of the drink without it being marred by some cloudy white bits. Clear ice doesnt just look better it also works better. It melts more slowly, which keeps drinks from getting watered down before you can enjoy it. For gourmands and craft cocktail enthusiasts, clear ice is a win-win.
Unfortunately, perfect ice doesnt often emerge from your home freezer at least not without help. You may be so used to cloudy ice that it doesnt bother you, but it is possible to get clear cubes at home. Heres how to do it.
Is Clear Ice Stronger Than Cloudy Ice
In a way, yes, because clear ice is free from air bubbles that cause the ice to crack more. If youre the kind of person who likes to chew ice, you can notice that its easier to grind cloudy ice than clear ice with your teeth. Since clear ice is just plain water, it has better structural integrity. Also, the absence of air pockets makes clear ice melt slower because there is a low chance of evaporation.
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The Best Bourbon Ice Cube Molds You Can Buy
For most methods of making clear ice, youll have to have some sort of silicone mold or tray.
Youll also have to decide whether you want ice cubes or ice spheres .
Here are our top picks from Amazon in no particular order.
An Amazon Choice, this is a 4-cube tray that you simply fill with water and put in your freezer.
It is proven to purify water, removing 98% of TDS and metals.
Meet The Owners Of Spirits On Ice
Kent & Kim Coomer are the husband and wife team behind Spirits On Ice. The Coomers purchased D& E Machine Company in 1990 before turning it into Spirits On Ice, the manufacturer of the Spirit Ice Vice ice ball press. Kents background is in custom-machining items out of metal, while Kim has decades of management and relationship-building experience. Together, Kent and Kim engineer a high-quality machine that quickly and efficiently creates customizable ice balls for drinks. The ice ball delivers more than a clear way to chill a beverage. It provides an experience for your guests, whether at home, in a restaurant or bar, or at the 19th hole of the golf course.
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The Salt Water Method
Unlike the other two methods, the salt water technique works on a bottom to top freezing pattern. It is less reliable and more tedious but could come in handy in cases where there is no ice mold or cooler available.
What Youll Need
The Winner Is The Clearly Frozen Clear Ice Cube Tray
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Clear ice is often pinnacle ice for many professional bartenders, because it is beautiful to look at, free of impurities, and just elevates the overall cocktail experience. There are companies that make clear ice for bars and restaurants, but its also possible to make it yourself at home. All you need is water and a freezer, which presumably most people with kitchens have.
There are several different types of clear ice makers, but most are molds made of silicone that give you sphere or square-shaped cubes. It can be difficult to navigate through all the options out there, many of which will often give varied results. That’s why we’re here, with the research from industry professionals to back it up! We recommend the Clearly Frozen Clear Ice Cube Tray for entertaining any number of guests.
Here are some suggestions for the best clear ice molds to get right now, with some expert advice on what to look for.
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Prepare The Freezer To Freeze Ice Balls
When you are done with the above-mentioned steps, start preparing the freezer to freeze the ice balls.
- Set the temperature of the freezer to 0-degree F.
- Now remove the extra water from the mold with the help of pointed needles.
- Make sure to fill the silicon mold to the point of the fill hole. Along with this so ensure that no air bubble will trap under the mold.
- Shake the mold so that if there is any bubble, it will be removed automatically by shaking.
You can also wrap the silicone mold with a towel, and this will slow down the freezing and allow the water to freeze normally. Wrapping around also ensures that no air bubbles enter into the mold and make perfect ice balls.
Easy Large Sized Whiskey Ice Cubes
Having enjoyed a good whiskey for a while I recently discovered the joy of large sized ice cubes in a good whiskey! They melt much more slowly leaving but a hint of water in your whiskey. After visiting a friend with a fancy large size ice cube maker I wondered what it would take to make a sweet giant icecube. And this is the solution… a small sized solo cup!
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What Is The Scientific Reason Behind Cloudy Ice Cubes
The cloudiness of the ice cubes is not only due to the impurities present in the water used. There is a scientific reason behind ice cubes being cloudy. The main reason for the cloudiness in the ice cubes is the freezing speed of the water to form the ice.
In addition to the impurities present in the water, the freezing process promotes the cloudiness in the ice cubes. You may notice that icicles formed on the ceiling of caves or on branches of trees in cold locations during winters are crystal clear.
These icicles are formed at a slow rate in layers, avoiding the accumulation of impurities and air bubbles. The result of this is clear icicles.
What Makes Ice Clear Or Cloudy
One of the most prominent suggestions seen on the internet is to use boiled or distilled water for making clear ice, but this actually doesnt have a significant effect on the outcome. It has something to do more with the temperature, direction, and duration.
The distinction between clear and cloudy ice lies in the fact that the former does not contain impurities in the form of minerals. Water molecules naturally freeze from all directions and in the process, push these foreign molecules away from themselves and toward the center, where they are trapped. Thats why you commonly see ice cubes that are clear on the sides but cloudy in the middle.
If you only use a regular ice tray, fill it up with tap water, and put it in the freezer for a long time, you can expect the result to be not transparent. Fortunately, there are ways to control this. You can use special trays and ice makers that are designed to make clear ice. Or apply the method called directional freezing to push the air bubbles to the bottom of the ice block so you can just carve it out, leaving you with nothing but clear ice.
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Boil The Water To Avoid Impurities
Whether you use bottled water or filter water, some impurities persist in the water, creating fogginess in the ice. Therefore, always double boil the water and let it cool at room temperature. This step is really crucial to remove the impurities and make water-free clean.
The double-boiled water doesnt have any impurities and has no minerals. Moreover, the double-boiled water is also helpful in removing the trapped gas vacuoles present in the water. This, in turn, helps to provide crystal-clear water, which is ideal for making the ice balls.
After boiling the water, do ensure to cool it down naturally at room temperature. Avoid cooling in the freezer and under the fan as it may trap the air bubbles.
How To Make Big Clear Ice
March 1, 2016 | Camper English
Crystal clear ice cubes melt a little more slowly than do cloudy ones, and great big ice cubes cause less dilution due to a lower surface area-to-volume ratio than multiple smaller cubes. But honestly, thats not a good enough reason to go through all the effort to make big clear chunks of ice at home. The choice is mostly an aesthetic one, but as important as choosing to drink out of a crystal tumbler rather than a Styrofoam cup: It makes the whisky look better, it feels better in your hand, and consequently it improves perception of its taste. A nice read-through quality clear cube lets the whisky shine, gives a pleasant weight to the glass, and also provides an excuse to buy yourself the fancy $50 Japanese Yamachu ice pick.
Making clear ice is not as simple as boiling the water before freezing weve all heard that tale before and the practice doesnt have much of an effect on ice clarity at all. In fact, testing the boiled water theory led me down a multi-month experimental adventure resulting in a technique I dubbed directional freezing that is now used in nerds freezers and in small bars from Asia to Edinburgh.
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What You Need To Make Clear Ice
Englishs directional freezing method requires little more than an insulated picnic cooler, but there are certain factors to consider if youre going to buy one new, as well as fancy tools to facilitate the process.
First and foremost, youll want to make sure the cooler will fit in your freezer. As a rough guide, a 5-quart cooler, which tends to be the smallest available, yields more than half a dozen 2-by-2-inch cubes.
Another factor to check prior to purchasing is whether the cooler contains a removable lid. Those that dont will take up more space in the freezer as the process relies on the water being left uncovered, and may even prevent the ice from being removed, as one unlucky member of the r/clearice subReddit discovered.
Otherwise, all thats needed are the tools to cut and shape the large block into smaller pieces. Sophisticated solutions abound on professional bar supply websites, including picks, chippers, chisels, and saws. But its easy to get by with just a large cutting board, some clean dish towels, a serrated knife, and a wooden mallet or hammer.
Cut The Ice Block Into Columns
Flip the ice block so the smooth side is facing up. Using a large serrated bread knife, carefully, but firmly saw/score the ice into 2-3 inch wide columns. It helps to try to get 4-5 uniform columns out of your ice block, just be sure theyre not too wide to fit in a standard double old fashioned glass.
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How To Cut The Giant Ice Block
1. Take the cooler out of the freezer , and flip upside on a cutting board.2. Slowly lift the cooler up to remove the block of ice, then clean any shards of ice, or water, from the cutting board.3. Measure 2 inches across the length of the block, and lightly cut with a serrated knife to make indentations where youll make the first cuts.4. Once the whole length is marked, place the serrated knife in the indentations and hit the back of the knife with a mallet to separate the ice. Repeat across the length, aiming for four columns.5. Take the columns of ice from the first cuts and repeat step 3 by making 2-inch markings along the length to outline cubes. Then, repeat step 4 to cut out the cubes.
More of a visual person? Watch Elliott Clark of Apartment Bartender cut his own ice at home.
Store the cut cubes in a ziplock bag in the freezer until youre ready to use them.
All thats left is for your guests to applaud your ice-making expertise.
How To Make Perfectly Clear Ice Cubes At Home
If you would like to make clear ice cubes at home, read on for the best method on how to make crystal clear ice cubes.
This is the process of how to make crystal clear ice cubes for whiskey and have them ready for your guests. You can make the ice cubes in ice makers as well.
The method of how to make clear ice cubes in ice makers is similar to this process. The only difference is that you will need an ice maker instead of the cooler and the ice tray. The ice maker can get you clear ice cubes in a quicker process.
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Why Are Ice Balls Better Than Cubes
We already mentioned at the beginning of this post that every detail adds up in a cocktail, including how and in which form we use ice. But is there a specific reason why ice balls are better than cubes? Yup, there are many reasons!
- It melts slower: In a nutshell, its all about volume and surface area. If we compare an ice sphere with a cube, an ice sphere exposes less surface area for the same amount of volume than an ice cube . Its tighter shape and smaller surface area mean that the sphere is less exposed to the warm liquid surrounding it, essentially cooling it for longer without diluting it.
- It doesnt change the taste of the drink: The round shape of this type of ice not only allows the ice to melt slower and cool the liquid better but also alters the flavor of the drink less since it doesnt dilute it as fast as regular cubes do.
- It makes you save on ice: With just one large ball you can chill a glass and more of whiskey, cocktails, or whatever you want, meaning that youll need to use less ice when you host parties with your friends and family.
- It looks more original: Who says ice has to come in cubes? Lets face it, ice balls look way cooler than ice cubes. Their shape, robustness, and unique appearance make them a sure bet to surprise your guests theyll be the main attraction of the occasion.
Glacio Silicone Ice Cube Trays 2 Pack
These food grade and BPA-free ice molds are similar to the other glacio sphere molds, but are simply for cubes instead.
They provide a solid and inexpensive option you can use to make ice cubes that are just under 2 inches.
Again, this wont make clear ice for you, but can to create clear ice if you follow the right methods.
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It Might Be A Little Bit Of Overkill
but a crystal clear ice cube looks really great in a whiskey glass or cocktail. Some people say that since it is clear, without impurities, that it even melts slower and more evenly. I am not sure if that is true, but it sure looks awesome. There are many methods, even ice cube trays made specifically for clear ice, however, those things are very expensive unitaskers in my mind.