Bartend like a pro with these cool ice cube ideas – pun intended

Quick notes

  • The key to clear ice cubes is using distilled water instead of regular tap water.

  • Fruit and herbs make for both beautiful and tasty additions to ice cubes.

  • As the ice melts your drink will become flavored by the fruit and ice for a nice little treat at the end.

If you’ve frequented a trendy bar or restaurant recently you may have noticed your ice cubes are completely clear. You can’t achieve this look, however, with just any old ice and water.

The key to clear ice cubes is using distilled water instead of regular tap water. For the ultimate in fanciness, we’ve rounded a how-to guide to achieve this look and other unique ice cube ideas.

From adding fresh herbs or frozen fruit to your ice, take your drink game up a notch and wow your guests with these featured ice and cocktail recipes.

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Clear ice starts with distilled water

When you make traditional ice using tap water and ice cube trays, you probably notice your ice isn’t clear. This is because tap water is treated with chemicals to make it safe for us to drink. These chemicals cloud the water and cloud our ice cubes.

To create the look of pure, clear ice as you see naturally in a frozen icicle or in a fancy drink at a bar, there are a couple of tricks of the trade. First, you want to use distilled water instead of tap water. You then want to double boil the water so you get as much of the impurities out as possible.

Freezing method hacks for clear ice

After your double boil, you can pour the water into your ice cube tray. Now even with this process, you’ll likely get a little cloudy part right in the center of the ice cube. This is because the water freezes at the sides first pushing anything left in your water into the center.

To avoid this, you can rotate your ice trays every few minutes as they freeze and leave your door open. With this method, ice freezes from the top down leaving the cloudy part at the bottom where you can easily cut it off.

You can also crank up your freezer temperature so that the ice freezes slowly pushing air and impurities out. Keep in mind, you should empty your freezer of food before trying either of these methods.

Fancy ice add-ins and cocktail recipes

Once you have your beautiful, clear ice cube trick down, you can start getting fancier with some add-ins. Fruit and herbs make for both beautiful and tasty additions to ice cubes.

Your punch or drink will instantly look elevated with clear, ice cubes infused with fruit or herbs. If you really want to step it up, opt for large square ice cube trays. There are also ice cube molds in different shapes that will look pretty fancy in your drink.

If you want to beautify your water, for example, you can add a sprig of lavender or basil to your ice cubes before you freeze them. Basil and lavender ice are also great for spiked lemonade punches, vodka soda, or gin and tonics.

For whiskey recipes or champagne, add some fruit to your ice cubes. For any whiskey drink or champagne, you can use blueberries, cocktail cherries, or raspberries in your ice cubes. As the ice melts your drink and ice will become flavored by the fruit for a nice little treat at the end.

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