One of the best ways to fancy up cocktails and mocktails is by using higher-quality clear ice. Clear ice is made by directionally freezing ice in one direction so impurities and air bubbles are pushed down as the ice freezes. By removing the ice before the entire block freezes, you’re left with a solid block of clear ice with a partially frozen bottom or fully frozen cloudy section you can scrape off.

Why Clear Ice?

  • Better taste. Because the ice is removed from the freezer after 12-14 hours, there’s less time for the ice’s flavor to be affected by impurities and contamination from the freezer.
  • Because there are no air bubbles, clear ice is stronger and denser than cloudy ice, and the melting rate is much slower. This keeps your drinks from getting too watered down before you can drink them.
  • It looks pretty cool. You can even put silicone molds into the cooler to make spheres and other shapes.

How to Make Clear Ice:

Making clear ice at home requires two things: water and a small cooler with a removable lid that can fit in your freezer. Some people use distilled water, but any clean water will work.

  • Clean the cooler and remove the lid.

  • Fill the cooler about 3/4 of the way full and place it into the freezer. Because the cooler is insulated everywhere except the top, the water will start freezing from the top, pushing air bubbles and impurities down to the bottom as it freezes.

  • Check on the cooler after 12-14 hours. At this point, the bottom will be partially frozen or fully frozen and cloudy. The majority of the ice will be clear and the cloudy section can be scraped off.

  • To cut the ice into ice cubes, place the block of ice onto a cutting board and using a rubber mallet, gently hammer a serrated kitchen knife into the block to cleanly break the ice into smaller pieces.

From our Collection

Mocktail Party : 75 Plant-Based, Non-Alcoholic Mocktail Recipes For Every Occasion by Kerry Benson, MS, RD, LDN, And Diana Licalzi, MS, RD, LDN.

Developed by two registered dietitians, the non-alcoholic drink recipes in Mocktail Party feature nutritious, all-natural ingredients with minimal sugar that you can easily find at any grocery store. The book also features information about the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle, tips for sustainable mixology, and advice for ordering mocktails at a restaurant or bar. If you’re tired of hangovers and don’t want to drink sugar-loaded, processed sodas instead, then these healthy and delicious recipes are for you.

A serious and stylish look at sophisticated nonalcoholic beverages by a former Bon Appétit editor and James Beard Award nominee.

Shares over four hundred cocktail recipes as well as advice on stocking a bar and stories from famed New York Times journalists.