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How to Make Better Ice at Home?

Sep. 14, 2020

Even if you've honed your bartending skills and stocked your cupboards with fancy glasses and bar tools, your homemade Old Fashioned or Aperol Spritz will never do justice to the ones served at a craft cocktail bar when you use cloudy ice cubes, which smell vaguely like the leftovers I kept in the freezer.


Resler and the other bartenders I asked about how to make the perfect ice cream drew my attention to journalist Camper English, who writes about cocktails and spirits and pioneered the technology that most professionals use today. I ran away to make ice cream. English says he is "obsessed with clear ice" and explains that when water freezes, "the first part that freezes is clear" when air and impurities are expelled. However, in typical ice cube trays, the outside of the cube freezes first, pushing air and dirt to the center, which becomes cloudy. To prevent this from happening, English developed his so-called Directional Freezing Method, which controls the freezing of water by means of an insulated container that forces the ice to freeze from top to bottom, with a tank underneath the cubes to collect cloudiness. "


Thanks to research in English, there are many products today that use directional freezing to make clear ice at home. Here, he and three other bartenders and alcohol connoisseurs recommend the best, and everything you need to make perfect clear cubes.


1. Ice Ball Maker Kettle 2-in-1 Portable


Multiple Purposes: Keep your drinks cool longer, for cocktail, iced coffee, iced tea, fruit juice, punch, water and other beverages; Wide Applications: Great for house parties, home bars, restaurants, beaches, holiday events; Nontoxic and Leakproof: Nontoxic and leakproof, won't crack or break. Easy to fill, remove and clean; 2-in-1 Ice ball Kettle: It is both an ice hockey mold and a fashionable kettle. Easily fill water without spilling or leaking, easy to release ice cubes; Easy to Demold: The silicone handles on both sides of the ice cube mold cup are soft, comfortable and non-slip. After the ice cube mold is removed from the refrigerator, the ice cube can be easily released by pulling the handles on the 2 sides.


2. ClearlyFrozen Home Clear Ice Cube Tray/Ice Cube Maker


Although it looks like a typical silicone mold, it comes with an insulated foam cover and a plastic container underneath to catch cloudy water. The English call it "the ice cube tray with the best value for money" and thus it makes ice cream "relatively space saving". Amanda Schuster, author of New York Cocktails and editor-in-chief of Alcohol Professor, also loves this “very easy to use” form of ice cream. Once the cubes are frozen, she recommends putting them in a "resealable plastic bag rather than leaving them in the container where they can absorb odors and flavors."


3. Wintersmiths IC-S Ice Chest - Crystal-Clear Ice Ball Maker


Like the ClearlyFrozen mold, Wintersmiths ice cream molds come with an insulated container for directional freezing. "The products can be a bit pricey," admits Resler, "but from what I've seen, they are some of the best on the market so far." Because directionally frozen ice cream contains less air, it is also denser, as Sother Teague, Beverage Director for Amor y Amargo and author of I'm Just Here for the Drinks likes in her ice cream. "The thicker the ice, the slower it melts," he explains. "I don't want a cocktail to get more diluted when someone drinks it."


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