Finally, Someone Who ‘Gets Science’ Shows Us How To Make Clear Cocktail Ice

By: 03.21.16

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Nothing ruins a cocktail like cloudy ice, amirite? When I’m downing a gin and tonic, I want the ice in it to be as clear as the liquor it’s cooling. Why? Because I’m an elegant internet writer and I demand it! Unfortunately, for lack of freezing technique, I’ve had to make do with the sad, cloudy ice that my freezer-door dispenser doles out to me. My salty tears have mingled with that opaque ice far too many times to count.

But no longer, friends! Thanks to the YouTube channel Cocktail Chemistry, my sorrows have been assuaged. Clear ice is within reach. All that’s involved is a small cooler, a serrated knife, a hammer, and lots of patience.

As the video explains, what it comes down to is something called “directional freezing,” that is, forcing the ice to freeze from top to bottom so that the impurities in the water form at the bottom of the ice and leave the top clear.

Super technical, but in practice, fairly easy. Because, as it happens, when water is frozen in a cooler, the unique properties of the cooler’s insulation make it freeze from top to bottom.

Check out the video for the step-by-step instructions. (Also, watch out for the really tasty-looking recipe for a bourbon-maple Old Fashioned at the end. I’ll drink to that.)

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