Cocktail Ice Porn: Getting Hot Over Clear Ice

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Cocktail Ice Porn: Getting Hot Over Clear Ice

Here’s how I know I’m an entitled, first world, raised in the suburbs kind of guy: I care about the ice in my cocktail glass. The ice’s shape, its size…all of this is important to me. The guys behind Wintersmiths, a company that makes ice molds for home bartenders, definitely take their ice seriously, and judging by the success of their latest Kickstarter, they’re not alone. When they asked fans to support the Phantom, an ice tray that makes several clear shapes of ice, people went bananas to the tune of $424,615. That’s well over their initial $50,000 goal. The Phantom can make clear cubes, clear spheres, even tall clear rectangles built for a Collins glass. Ice molds for fancy cocktails are a dime a dozen, but the key to the Wintersmiths’ molds, is that the ice is clear. Because clear ice is superior, right?

It’s fairly well accepted at this point in modern history that the shape of a chunk of ice affects the melting rate of that ice. The bigger the ice, the slower it melts, and the all-mighty sphere, because it has less surface area, melts slower, therefore diluting your drink at a slower rate. Here’s a chart.

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I’m going to assume their math checks out for two reasons: 1) I suck at math and 2) I don’t care. I’ve never held onto a glass of whiskey long enough for the ice to melt completely. Does this mean that I have a drinking problem that I should talk about in an open, candid way with a licensed professional? No. It means I like the taste of whiskey and you should shut the hell up.

The ratio that a certain piece of ice melts in my glass has never bothered me, but I do like the way a nice piece of ice looks in my glass of whiskey. The aesthetics are important to me, and that is why I’m drawn to the notion of clear ice as a superior ice. Because it just looks better than cloudy ice. Check out this photo and tell me the clear ice isn’t sexier.

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How does the Phantom make clear ice? According to Wintersmiths, it has nothing to do with the quality of the water—any old tap water should do just fine. Instead, cloudy ice comes from water that is freezing from all sides at once, trapping air bubbles in the center of the ice. The key then, is to freeze ice directionally, from the top down or bottom up, so the air bubbles are pushed to the surface where they can dissipate. According to Wintersmiths, the double-wall insulation of their Phantom provides the directional freezing you need to make clear ice.

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The question is, are looks important to you, or are you happy with a cloudy ice sphere for your whiskey? I admit, I’m a pretty shallow guy when it comes to my cocktails. I want them to be as pretty as possible. See entitled suburban asshole statement, above.

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