The Ultimate Guide On How to Make Clear Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are either small pieces or big pieces of ice that are made from water. They often appear in different shapes such as round, rectangle, square, and other decorative shapes depending on the kind of ice cube mold you are using. They have several uses but are commonly used to cool drinks. If you frequently eat out, then you may have noticed that the ice cubes fancy restaurants or bars put in your drink are often crystal clear. The ice cubes you make at home are often cloudy. We are going to share a few simple tips on how to make clear ice cubes at home.

What is the Science Behind it?

If you do not know how to make clear ice , then you most likely make cloudy ice cubes. Cloudy ice cubes. But you do not have to make cloudy ice anymore because the science behind how to make clear ice is quite simple. Most establishments like restaurants and cocktail bars will invest in a machine that makes clear ice cubes. This costs a lot of money, but the good news is that you can still make clear ice from your kitchen without investing in a costly machine.

The science behind how to make clear ice cubes is not using distilled water or boiling water as people often think. The slow pace at which the water freezes, is what causes the ice to be clear. For instance, think about winter. The icicles are often crystal clear. This is because of how slow the freezing process is, as it freezes layer by layer, hence, preventing any impurities or air from being trapped on the inside. What makes your ice cubes cloudy is the water freezing from the outside, which pushes gases and dissolved minerals to the center as the water is freezing.

To make clear ice, you have to reduce the speed at which your ice freezes. You can use an insulated cooler to get clear ice. Using a cooler allows your ice to freeze at a slower pace, which means the air bubbles can escape before they are trapped inside the ice. This will result in you having a clear ice cube. We will highlight the steps on how to make clear ice with a cooler later in our copy.

Check out this video to learn more.


How to Make Clear Ice Cubes for Whiskey

If you like your whiskey on the rocks, you need to learn how to make clear ice cubes for whiskey, so your drink looks fresh and sophisticated! A large ice piece will also melt at a slower rate than a smaller piece or multiple pieces so you can try our large round or square silicone tray here to get you started. It is worth noting that clear ice may not necessarily melt at a slower rate, but when it does, the water has fewer impurities, and it adds a silkier mouthfeel to your drink (debatable whether you can actually tell or not, but it sounds cool, right?!).

To make clear ice cubes for your whiskey, you need to employ the directional freezing method. Some people believe that the kind of water you use is what determines the clarity of your ice. The truth is the type of water you use plays no part in how clear your ice will appear. It may slightly make it clear, but there won't be any significant difference when comparing it to directional freezing. You can find tips on how to make clear ice at home for whisky here. Below is a simple method you can employ when making clear ice cubes for your whiskey.

  • Purchase an ice mold that is designed explicitly for directional freezing.
  • Fill them up with water and place them in the freezer.
  • Please leave them in there for about 24 hours for them to freeze fully.
  • Take them out once they are fully frozen and add them to your whiskey.

All you need to do is follow that simple step. The key to this hassle-free method is buying an ice mold that is designed for directional freezing. The only thing this method requires is patience. If you would like more ice, it would be best to use the cooler method, which will be highlighted later in the copy. The only downside to the cooler method is that you will have to cut the ice block into serving sizes.

How to Make Clear Round Ice Balls for Your Cocktails

If you have been to a cocktail bar, then you have noticed how clear their ice cubes are, and sometimes you may even see them molding them into balls by chiseling them or from a pre-formed ice tray. Unless you are a professional at chiseling and want to do the extra work, it would be best to get spherical ice molds. IceQuisite has round molds in different sizes that you can use to get the desired shape when making clear ice cubes for your cocktails. You can employ the directional freezing method when making clear ice cubes for cocktails. Below is an alternate method on how to make clear ice for cocktails.

  • Get spherical ice molds of your choice.
  • Fill the molds with water. It does not matter what kind of water you use.
  • Freeze it for eighteen to twenty hours.
  • Once it is completely frozen, you can get it out of the freezer, thaw it a bit, and add it to your cocktail. It would be best to use a silicone mold so you don’t have to do all the work of chiseling ;) 

Check out his amazing video -

How to Make it with a Cooler

As mentioned earlier, you can easily make clear ice at home using a cooler. We recommend using a small insulated cooler that you will place in your freezer. You will have your ice mold with water inside the cooler. It will freeze at a slow pace, which will result in you getting clear ice. Everything else that you may place inside the cooler will freeze at a slow pace. For more information, visit the European Bartender School. Listed below is the step-by-step guide on how to make clear ice with a cooler.

  • Get a small insulated cooler that can fit in your freezer.
  • Arrange your plastic or silicone ice cube molds or trays in a row.
  • Please fill up the cooler with water, remove the lid, or leave it open before placing the cooler in the freezer.
  • Give it time until the whole block is frozen, then remove the ice block and cooler from the freezer.
  • Get a clean plastic bucket and set the block in it to allow it to temper for about an hour or so.
  • Get a serrated knife and score the ice block in between the molds carefully. To ensure that you are carefully splitting the ice, use the mallet on the back of your knife. In case the ice starts cracking, give it more time to temper.
  • The result will be clear ice cubes. If you notice clouding at the top of your ice cubes, you can use your serrated knife to cut it off.

How to Make Clear Ice Without a Cooler

As mentioned earlier, there are ice molds specifically meant for directional freezing. In most cases, if you use a cooler, you will have to mold the extra ice yourself. To avoid this, use ice molds. The only downside is you will have a few ice pieces, which is okay if you are the only one using them. We have a variety of ice molds that you can choose from.

The perks of using a mold are that you do not need to put in the extra work of molding and cutting ice. The steps on how to make clear ice without a cooler are pretty simple. You only need to fill your molds with water and leave them in the freezer for about 20 hours. Your clear ice will be ready for use, and you can easily remove it from the mold.

Alternatively, you can invest in an ice-making machine if you have the money for it. There are smaller machines that you can get. It is worth noting that if you want a clear ice machine, you will have to pay more money. For more insight on how to get clear ice without using a cooler, click here.

How to Make Clear Ice with Boiling Water

The type of water you use does not necessarily make the ice clear. How the ice freezes will determine its clarity. However, we will list a few tips on how to make clear ice with boiled water. You can use any water to make clear ice. You will have to boil it first. If you are using tap water, you have to boil it twice and cool it for a while before you pour it into your ice cube tray or silicone mold. You can place your tray or mold in the freezer and leave it on there for a couple of hours until the water is completely frozen. It is worth noting that the ice may not be crystal clear. The bottom part may still be slightly cloudy.

How to Make Clear Ice with Tap Water

It is possible to make clear ice using tap water. You can either use the cooler method or use directional freezing molds. However, you need to ensure that the water is safe to drink since you will be taking it in your drink. Use warm tap water for the best results. Below are steps on how to make clear ice with tap water.

  • Fill your cooler with room temperature tap water or warm water. You can use boiling water, but be careful not to burn yourself or melt the plastic/silicone you’re using
  • Please put it in the freezer for about 24 hours. You need to ensure that the water does not freeze all the way through because it will result in the ice being cloudy at the bottom.
  • Remove the block ice from the cooler. You will have to place the cooler upside down in the sink for the block of ice to fall out. You may need to give it a gentle shake.
  • You will have to cut the ice block into cubes. You can cut it or chisel it to your desired shape. You can use a serrated knife to cut the ice and an oven mitten or towel to hold it down as you cut it.
  • You can also shape the ice to whatever shape you desire using an ice pick. It requires a certain level of expertise to get a perfect shape like a sphere. If you do not want to put in the work, cut them into cubes and leave them at that.
  • You can use the ice you need and store the rest of it away in the freezer. Please place it in a closed container or zip lock bag.
  • It would be best to leave the ice to temper at room temperature for at least two minutes before using it in your drink. This allows any freezer burn and the outer layer to melt from the ice and also prevents cracking.

How to Make Clear Ice with Filtered Water

Whether you choose to use filtered water, tap water, or boiled water, the method you use is what matters and not the water quality. Using filtered water has the advantage that the water is safe to drink, so you do not have to worry about it dissolving in your drink. Water contains dissolved air, which is what primarily makes ice cubes cloudy. So you have to freeze your ice in one direction to get rid of that cloudiness. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make clear ice with filtered water.

  • Get an insulated cooler and pour filtered water into it.
  • Freeze it for 24 hours so that it does not freeze all the way through.
  • Get the ice block out of the cooler, have hot water run over it, and use a knife to get rid of the partially frozen bit.
  • You can then cut the ice into your desired shape and size and store it away if you are not planning to use it immediately.

For more insight on how to make clear ice using filtered water click here.

What does Reddit Have to Say About Making Clear Ice?

There are various tips on how to make clear ice Reddit. Most of the tips employed by people on Reddit are similar to the ones listed above. For instance, with directional freezing. You can use a large insulated container on all five of the six sides. The water freezes from top to bottom slowly. As it freezes, it pushes the impurities and gases trapped in the water towards the bottom. You can check out some of the Reddit threads here. 

It would be best if you left the container in your freezer for 24 hours maximum to avoid having the water freeze all the way through. Drain off the water that did not freeze and break any cloudy parts, then cut the ice into a shape you desire.

You can easily make clear ice at home. You do not always have to go to fancy restaurants or cocktail bars. The next time you are hosting guests and serving cocktails, whiskey, or any other drinks that may require ice cubes, make clear ice cubes and impress your guests!