Other than looking good, fancy cubes, ice spheres and even crushed ice keep the drink cold. Smaller cubes have more surface area and therefore add to the dilution of the drink. We don’t want that. We may be having a great conversation with old friends or trying to finish cooking dinner and set the drink aside for a few. While many of us don’t have that problem (me!1,) a decent cocktail is like a great lover, it should start great and finish strong (not me.)
One remedy is to use big, hard cubes of ice or a LOT of smaller chunks. Because I’m a nerd, I had to try making perfect ice. I tried everything from double boiling filtered water to freezing water in layers and I’ve found that—Sweet Jesus! I just want a drink already.
It’s actually pretty simple:
1. Get a box of baking soda to get rid of that freezer smell.
If your ice smells like fish balls guess what your drink will taste like? I mean, if sipping on a pair of fish balls all night is your thing, fine, go ahead but a box of baking soda is like a dollar per pound. Also, clean your freezer.
2. Use filtered or distilled water.
Brita filtered water is fine but SmartWater is the best. If you don’t believe me, read this:
Dearest Jesus in deep space this is the purest, cleanest, most perfect water in the history of water.
But again, filtered tap water is just fine.
3. Boil the water
Totally optional in my opinion. If you want super clear ice, boil it to get rid of trapped gasses. I don’t bother much. I’ve already impressed myself just by getting out of bed in the morning and getting out of my jammies. j/k I’m still in my jammies. If you happen to boil water for French Press coffee in the morning, boil extra but don’t go out of your way for it and again, filtered tap water is just fine.
4. Buy decent ice trays.
In olden times, ice trays were made in American factories out of metal. Metal made from ore extracted from the planet and melted down at 650 million degrees at American foundries. These antique trays made cubes that measured roughly 1.5”x1”x1” and didn’t fuck around. Then plastic came along. American plastic. They kept the measurements the same but when ice makers started coming standard in home freezers and cheap foreign manufacturing became a thing, well, shit got compromised. The new fangled ice trays make smaller cubes. They’re still better than Bag ‘o Ice brand ice but still, we want big fucking cubes.
If you miss that old feeling of poppin’ a dozen cubes off at a time, Rubbermaid makes the White Ice Cube Tray2. The cubes are decent sized and they practically jump out of the tray, ready for service.
5. For the clearest ice possible, go big.
Take a 2-4 quart Glad reusable food container (new) and fill it with filtered water. Ice freezes from the outside in and it expands. When there’s no more room left, the pressure of the ice cracks making it opaque. You could open the freezer during commercial breaks and poke a hole in the top of the ice as it forms. This gives the water someplace to escape as it expands but who watches commercials anymore? If you have a large enough container, let that bitch freeze. Enjoy your show, go to bed, grab life by the scrote. The center of the ice block will be opaque but there’s enough ice around the edges to get Scientology-clear ice. When you’re ready to get all ol’ school with an Old Fashioned, grab an ice pick or table knife and chip off a clear hunk just smaller than your Old Fashioned glass.
That cube will shine like it’s the mother fucking Dark Crystal and your drink will be richer and lovelier than Kira’s everlasting essence, if you know what I’m saying.
You do know what I’m saying, right?