How To Do Everything Better: Make Perfect Ice Cubes

Leah Bourne

iceNew year, new you. With that in mind, follow along as we hit up experts in far ranging fields from fashion to hospitality to travel for their thoughts on how to do everything better this year.
A bona fide trend among the top mixologists in the country is taking what ice very, very seriously. After all, we all know that if you don’t put work into your ice cubes they turn out cloudy, soft, and pretty weak. So not only do they not look very pretty, they melt pretty quickly into your drink, and that is bad, very bad.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to make perfect ice cubes. Some will say to boil your water first, or even double-boil it. Others will tell you to use distilled water. The answer, according to Sother Teague, a former R&D chef for Alton Brown on Good Eats and instructor at the New England Culinary Institute,has to do with speed.¬†When ice freezes quickly, air bubbles get trapped within the ice crystals. When ice freezes slowly, the bubbles don’t get inside. Luckily, there are methods to get around that problem.
1. Get a small, insulated cooler you can fit inside your freezer.
2. Get plastic molds. You’ll use these to freeze your chunks of ice.
3. Put the molds into the cooler, arranged into lines.
4. Fill the entire cooler with water, so that the molds are flooded. Put the cooler into the freezer with the lid open or removed.
5. Wait until the block is frozen all the way through. Yes, it’s a slow process. Then remove the cooler and the ice block inside. (If it sticks, let it thaw a little.) Set the block in a clean plastic bucket, and leave it out for an hour or so to let it temper.
6. Cut out the molds. Using a serrated knife, carefully score the block in between some molds. Use a mallet on the back of the knife blade to carefully split the ice. If it’s starts cracking like crazy, let it temper a little longer.
7. Once the molds are free, you should be able to slide the blocks of ice out of them pretty easily. If they don’t come out easily, let them warm just a little. The ice that comes out should be almost perfectly clear. There may be some clouding at the top, but this can be cut out using the serrated knife method in the step above.
8. Voila, perfect ice cubes that would make the very best mixologists proud!
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