How To Make Clear Ice Balls & Cubes?

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Eating out in a restaurant is an experience we can’t feel at home. We get perfectly cooked food without making effort. However, all restaurants offer one special perk, and that is providing perfect clear ice cubes for our drinks.

Recently, popular cocktail bars have been updated. They make sure that cocktails and drinks are presented with crystal clear ice cubes and balls to enhance the drinks’ looks. Crystal clear ice cubes do not only enhance the look. However, it also works in a better way. Clear ice cubes and balls melt slowly as compared to cloudy ice cubes. 

How to Make Clear Ice balls For Whisky?

Clear ice balls look very tempting in the glass of a whisky. But, as we already know, clear ice balls melt slowly and keep whisky from getting watered down before you can easily enjoy it. So for whisky and cocktail enthusiasts, clear ice balls serve as a win-win situation.

However, now the question arises of how to make clear ice balls. Unfortunately, clear ice balls do not emerge with the traditional method of freezing ice. Instead, it requires some special steps to obtain the crystal-clear ice balls.

Work On the Water

Clear ice in nature is the pond’s ice through which you can see the fish or clear icicles on your roof. This ice is clear because of the pure water in nature. However, the water from our home taps is not pure, as it is treated with minerals to keep it safe for drinking. Traces of minerals can lead to cloudy ice. However, tap water cannot be used to get crystal-clear ice cubes.

Now, you must wonder how to make clear ice balls at home. To get the clear ice cubes, you have to use distilled water. The packed bottled water can or cannot be distilled. So, if you are using bottled water, check the label. For perfect ice cubes and balls, you need to have purified water by following the distillation process so that it does not contain minerals and debris. 

The next crucial point to remember is getting rid of air. Some tiny air bubbles get trapped while freezing the water in an ice tray. And this air will make the ice cloudy. Air also lets ice melt faster. To avoid air entering the ice tray, try to boil the water. It does not matter whether you use tap or distilled water; always boil it before freezing.

Follow Directional Freezing

By just pouring boiled water into a standard ice tray, it is not possible to get perfect crystal clear ice. However, there are chances that you still end up having a cloudy part in ice cubes in the middle. This is because the cloudy part remains in the center. After all, the water in the ice tray starts freezing from the outer part. As the water from the outer part starts freezing, it pushes the impurities to the downside, which is still not frozen. 

To avoid this problem, the directional freezing technique is used. It is the art of freezing the water firstly on one side so that all impurities are pushed into the same side. For instance, if you freeze your water from the top down direction, the cloudiness will end up in the bottom from where the ice could be easily chopped. 

The directional freezing method is the proven method to get perfect clear ice, and there are many ways in which it can be accomplished:

Slow Freezing

The slow freezing method means freezing distilled water at a slow freezer temperature. If the ice freezes slowly and takes a longer time, then impurities will escape into the air rather than being trapped in the ice tray. Simply pour the boiled water into an ice tray and place it into the freezer. Set the temperature of the freezer to the highest. You can set it near about 30 degrees. Merely it will take a night to freeze the clear ice cubes.

Igloo Freezing

For the igloo freezing method, you need to free up space in your freezer because, in this method, you will place a small cooler. The small plastic insulated cooler will work best in the. Now, you must fill more than half of the cooler with boiled water and place it into the freezer without a lid. The cooler without a lid will allow the upper surface to freeze with the help of the freezer’s cold air. And when the upper portion freezes, the impurities will be pushed downwards.

When the top surface is frozen, you don’t need to place the cooler in the freezer anymore. Instead, you need to follow this trick; you can get the clear ice and throw away the unfrozen water containing impurities. 

Place your cooler at average room temperature for near about half an hour. Now, use an ice pick to cut off the chunks of ice for your drinks. You can also use a knife to break your ice cube into smaller pieces.

Suppose you don’t like big ice cubes frozen by a cooler. Then, you can place your favorite ice molds and trays inside that small insulated cooler. After placing your trays or molds in a cooler, surround them with water so they will remain isolated. 

Scaled-down Freezing

If you don’t have space in your freezer to place a cooler, then you can use a small holder for ice trays made of silicon. If you don’t find a holder, you can also use a freezer-safe baking pan or casserole dish. 

You have to dig a hole in every cube of ice mold. Then you can place your ice mold an inch upper from the baking pan or dish. Make sure the tray is placed in the center of the pan. Fill the ice tray and pan with the boiled water and let them freeze. This method will force the impurities out of the ice cube mold and into the pan. Let your ice tray sit at room temperature till you can unmold the ice from the mold.

Salt Freezing

Unlike, other freezing techniques, the salt freezing technique works from bottom to top rather than top to bottom. It is done as same as scaled-down freezing, but in this technique, you don’t need to poke holes in the ice tray. Instead, just fill the baking dish or casserole with regular tap water and add half a cup of salt.

Now, just place the dish in the freezer. Next, pour the boiled water into the ice mold or tray and then place the tray or mold into the cold saltwater baking dish. When you place the tray, it will start floating in the dish. Again, place both things in the freezer to set the ice cubes. In this situation, the impurities will come to the top, and a clear ice cube will be at the bottom.

Using Ice Maker to make ice cubes

If you don’t want to be involved in making clear ice, you can consider buying a tiny home ice maker. An ice maker is the easiest method of making perfect crystal-clear ice cubes. Ice maker works on the mechanism of coils. It moves the water over the chilled coils to eliminate air and impurities. So, you don’t need to perform the processes of boiling and distillation.

Paul Wade
About the author

Paul Wade

I’m Paul, and I founded Ice Maker Basics with my friends. We are dedicated to good drinking with ice and great living.
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