how to carve ice cubes

How to Carve Ice Cubes for Cocktails

Like any type of art, how to carve ice cubes takes a lot of practice to master the adequate technique, and sometimes even years. Via Konbini.

Javier Sham Lourenco (@shamploo), a skilled and experienced bartender in Paris can convert a huge ice block into basically any geometrical figure, from diamonds to prisms. He has inspired us to give you the following tips to teach you hand carve ice cubes like a pro.


Follow these three rules and learn how to carve ice cubes properly


  1. Temper

The ice gets cloudy when it has just been taken out from the freezer. Temper for at least 30 minutes to allow it to adjust to the room temperature.


  1. Cut and hammer

Place the block onto a cutting board and saw a line on its center with a special knife. Then place the knife in the middle of the line and tap its top repeatedly to split it up. Repeat this same process until you get enough small pieces of cubes.


  1. Handcraft

Strongly hold the piece between your thumb and middle fingers. Use your thumb to guide the knife, kind of like if you were pealing an orange, and clear imperfections by using a paring knife and to shape the cube. Finish by rinsing a bit of cold water over it to obtain a smoother shape.

Don’t worry if your first creations are some weird, odd figures. All you got to do is practice before you are ready to show off your new ice carving skills in front of your friends.

Don’t forget that handcrafting ice could be a dangerous process. To prevent any unwanted situation, place a linen over your hand when holding the chunk. This will protect your fingers while also preventing the ice from slipping away.


Other tips to carve ice cubes for cocktails

The art of carving is extremely important and gives personality to cocktails.

Shapes :

-Cube: the most simple.

-Diamond: as for the cube, it’s all about geometry here and you need to work your way through with a knife, technique is very important though.

-Sphere: a perfect sphere is hard to get. You can get yourself ice ball makers to create spheres, however they may not always create a perfect shape. Watch this video.



Keep in mind you need proper tools to carve ice cubes. A wooden mallet, a knife with more weight and that covers more distance with the edge and an ice pick.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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