ice block

How to create perfect ice for your cocktails and drinks

Ice is a vital part of cocktails and drinks, influencing flavor and temperature. That’s why we show you how to make the ideal ice.

Bartenders and beverage experts worry about ice. Many of us when creating cocktails at home may not think about this ingredient that influences the concentration, taste and temperature of the drink. There are several techniques to create the perfect ice that will refresh your drink rather than damaging it. You may think it is complicated, but in reality you can easily adapt the process at home.

One of the first things bartenders do is to create large chunks of ice, blocks. By freezing the water in this way it is possible to create new ice cubes, or spheres, a myriad of special shapes for the cocktail. Depending on the drink, the shape of our ice will be adapted to keep it cold. For example, Whiskey Highball drinks. These drinks use long bars of ice, which not only keep the drink cold but also preserve the fizz.

How to create perfect ice for your cocktails and


You may have guessed it, that there are obviously a variety of ice molds available online to create the shape you’re looking for. However, for a beverage professional, there are many reasons to create clear ice, that clear, strong and perfect piece of ice. With this process, a sort of filter is created in which the cloudy aspect of the ice (solid impurities) and the concentrated air in the center of an ice cube is removed.


The Camper English method

According to Camper English, an expert beverage author, traditional ice trays create cloudy ice cubes because water freezes at the same time on all six surfaces or faces of an ice. This forces air from the water and impurities into the center of the cube where they freeze. Camper then developed a slower method of freezing. It consists of slowing the rate of freezing on five of six faces of the cube by using an insulated container, such as a picnic cooler, leaving the top exposed. This way the water freezes vertically downward, pushing the cloudiness to the bottom of the container.


Making perfect ice: clear ice at home

The most suitable container or cooler will be five quarts. These measure approximately 26x19x18cm, or a capacity of 4.75 liters. It is usually the smallest and you will be able to store it in the freezer.

Then you will need a large cutting board, clean kitchen towels, a serrated knife, a wooden mallet or hammer.

  1. Fill the cooler with water and store it uncovered. You can use filtered water but it will only impact the flavor, not visually.
  2. Wait 24 hours or until most of the water looks frozen. Remove the container from the freezer and leave on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
  3. Take the cutting board and place a clean kitchen towel on top. Have the serrated knife and mallet or hammer handy.
  4. When the ice has peeled out of the container, turn it over on the cutting board.
  5. Now you can start cutting and shaping your ice. Measure the diameter of your glass and subtract a few millimeters to fit the glass, either cubes or rectangular prisms.
  6. Slowly cut the ice with the serrated knife. When you reach 1 cm deep, tap down with the hammer or mallet.

This will allow you to carve out the ice needed for your drinks. Any leftovers can be stored in plastic bags in the freezer.

Check out our ice guide to see what kind of ice you should use for each cocktail. You can also watch Alejandro Sham carve an ice in three steps and follow his method.

Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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