or ages, ice has been used to cool down drinks, and while it may seem like a minor detail, the appearance of the ice cubes can affect the entire drink’s appearance. Whether you’re serving a scotch on the rocks or a fancy cocktail, the design of the drink changes significantly after adding a few clear ice cubes. Nevertheless, creating the perfect ice cubes is not as straightforward as icing water because various factors affect their transparency. To obtain unblemished and perfect ice cubes, you need to understand a few tips, and the good news is that you can do it all at home.
Clear Ice Cubes with Water Drops on Them
What causes imperfections in ice cubes?
Although water is clear with no taste, color, or smell, ice cubes are not flawless after icing. Microscopically, water contains tiny particles of sediment and minerals that distress the ice cubes’ transparency. When freezing, water drives these small particles to the center, ensuing in a cloudy appearance. Aside from the visual hindrance, contaminations in unpurified water can alter the drink’s taste. These causes are enough to make you want to discover the secret to obtaining perfectly see-through ice cubes.
Beginner’s guide to making clear ice cubes at home
When you go to a bar, you are not surprised when you are served perfect ice cubes. But is it possible to make them flawless at home too? Fortunately, the issue of cloudiness can be avoided by following a few steps. Here it goes:
- Before you begin, make a list of the items you will require: water, either tap or distilled, ice trays of various sizes and materials, an ice cooler, and a freezer. For optimal results, you can use distilled water. It has been purified through a process known as distillation, which eliminates tiny debris and impurities, including mineral deposits. In this method, water is boiled, and the steam that evaporates is trapped in another vessel, where it cools down and becomes liquid again. The small particles remain at the bottom of the pot as the steam cools, leaving the steam free of sediment and debris. As a result, you will have clear water to work with. Additionally, it freezes quicker than tap water, which contains salts and impurities that lower its icing point.
- Don’t thread ice tray size lightly, it matters more than it might seem initially. It is advisable to use large trays because larger cubes are more likely to turn out clearer and melt slower, thereby preventing your drink from diluting too quickly. Feel free to use any material you want, such as silicone or plastic, with or without a lid. You can even experiment with interesting shapes like spheres or diamonds, as the market is now filled with eye-catching ice cube trays.
Refrigerator Ice Maker Container
- Inside the freezer, you can unleash magic and chemistry. There are numerous techniques available, but we will discuss two of the most intuitive and successful. The first method is “top-down freezing”, which involves making ice cubes starting at the top and working their way down to the tray’s bottom. For this method, you will need an ice cooler, similar to the one you use at picnics to keep your drinks cold. Place the tray on the cooler’s bottom and fill it with water, ensuring that it does not exceed the tray’s capacity. Then, put the cooler in the freezer with the lid off and the temperature set to approximately -17°-25°F (-3°-8°C) for about 24 hours. The cubes may have a thin layer of cloudy ice on top, but it will melt away in a minute after you remove the cooler from the freezer the next day.
- Surprisingly, there is also a technique called “high-temperature freezing”, but it does not involve heat. Instead, it just refers to using a – 1°C freezer temperature. The water freezes slowly, thus forcing the debris and sediment to come out.
- In case you want to go the easy way and have hassle-free perfect cubes, you can invest in a clear ice maker, a machine that delivers optimal ice cubes with no effort from you. Their convenience is unmatchable as most models can deliver between 30 and over 60 pounds of ice in 24 hours. Thus, you can have your first batch of ice in 15-20 minutes. You can either go for a regular-size unit or an undercounter ice machine, depending on the space you have available.
It’s a known fact that perfection rests in the details, so no wonder that small details like the ice you put in your glass can interfere with how your drink looks and tastes. Ice cubes are usually cloudy, especially the ones that you buy from stores, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t easily have clear ice cubes at home. If you follow the basics of the procedure, you can enjoy clear ice cubes too.