So what’s the big deal with clear ice, and why would you want it?
Well for a few reasons.
- It looks super awesome!
- it will dilute slightly slower than cloudy ice.
The most underrated ingredient in cocktails is water, and all of the water in your cocktails comes from the ice that you use to build the drink. If the water you use has a lot of minerals and chemicals in it (a.k.a using tap water) then those same flavors are passed on into your drink. So by all means, you can use filtered water to make your ice but you won’t be able to see through it.
Clear ice is made up of more tightly packed water molecules than typical cloudy ice which makes it harder and have slightly less surface area. This means it will melt more slowly keeping drinks colder longer, and with less dilution than its’ cloudy counterpart.
I use it for serving drinks on the rocks whether that be a cocktail or a small pour of some spirit. However I do not use it for building cocktails, that seems like a waste of time to me and cloudy ice made with filtered water does the trick just fine for stirring and shaking.
HOW TO MAKE IT
Fill a small plastic cooler with filtered water, put it in the freezer, and wait for 24-36 hours.
When you take it out pour a little bit of water over the top and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so. The bottom of the block will not (and should not) be frozen.
Tip to cooler out into the sink or into a pan big enough to catch the water and transfer the ice block to a cutting board.
Cut the ice into pieces using a few strokes of a serrated knife to score the block and then tap the back of the knife with a rubber mallet to make a clean cut.
There are also clear ice cube makers that allow you to make four almost perfect ice cubes at a time. I say almost because there are usually a few little air bubbles at the bottom like in the picture in this post. However, it takes out all of the prep work which might be just what you’re looking for.
Store the ice pieces in a freezer bag to use for your next cocktail or sipping a whiskey on the rocks.
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