How to Make Clear Ice

How to make Clear Ice – one of the easiest and quickest ways to elevate your cocktail game! Not only are large clear ice cubes better for built cocktails, they look freaking cool! Many people think it requires a large time investment and effort – quite the contrary. It entails a lot of ‘set it and forget it.’

So why should you bother with making clear ice?

1 – Large ice cubes made in this fashion melt slower. Yup, you read that right – they melt slower. Due to the smaller surface area, the thermodynamics of the heat exchange means that there is less surface area to transfer heat from the cocktail to the ice, subsequently melting it. It’s not uncommon to see an ice rock still in the glass 30-60 minutes after the cocktail has been built.

2 – What does a slower melting rate mean? Less dilution of the cocktail. Your cocktail will remain at the strength you intended for longer – no more watered down cocktails after 5 minutes. You spent time and money to make a nice cocktail. Now, enjoy it as you meant to enjoy it, not some watered down version.

3 – The ice is pretty pure. Due to the way it freezes from the top down, the ice pushes any impurities down from ice structure that forms. It’s not uncommon to find ‘dirty’ water at the bottom of the cooler. You can also see the impurities if you allow the ice to freeze completely in the cooler – the bottom half of the ice will be cloudy and not usable. I’ve tried this ice making method with some really dirty tap water and it’s created ice with no aftertaste and clear as glass, such as the one in the picture.

4 – It looks cool. Seriously. When you can see through your cocktail and read what’s on the coaster or the napkin because the ice is clear as glass, you’ll ponder how legitimately cool that is. It also makes you look like a baller when you make a cocktail for someone. Most high end restaurants don’t have large clear ice rocks, but you… YOU have them. Flown in straight from the arctic circle. At least, that’s what you can tell people.

Once you have your clear ice, make an amazing cocktail that will showcase it nicely, such as a Negroni.

Clear Ice - Black Tie Kitchen

Clear Ice

Yield: 8 Ice Cubes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes

Clear Ice is a fantastic way to elevate your cocktail game! Not only is it impressive, it melts slower and is cleaner water - which improves your cocktail dilution!


  • Water


  • Small Cooler
  • Serrated Knife
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Towel
  • Rubber Bar Mat (optional)


  1. Using a small cooler, make sure you have enough space in your freezer to fit it with the lid open.
  2. Add water to the cooler to where you have roughly 4-5 inches (10-13cm) in water depth. You can use any water really, but distilled or filtered will work best. Even tap water works well (it will not leave an aftertaste).
  3. Let the water get to room temperature.
  4. Place the water filled cooler in the freezer with the lid off or open and leave it in the freezer for 24 hours.
  5. After the 24 hours is up, remove the cooler from the freezer. It will not be completely frozen, but that's ok. We don't want a completely frozen piece of ice or it will be harder for us to cut into cubes.
  6. If you can, place the cooler upside down on a barmat on a cutting board over the sink. If you dont have a barmat, you can place it on a towel or just the cutting board. If you dont have space, simply leave the cooler out, open face up (like normal).
  7. Let the ice temper - which means let it get clear and to temperature of the room. Do not try to force it out of the cooler - when it's ready, it will slide out. This should take anywhere between 10-20 minutes.
  8. When the block can easily slide out, remove the ice from the cooler over the sink - there will be lots of water coming out - cold water.


TIP: If you let the water freeze completely, you will have to remove the dirty ice from the bottom. Find the right time for your freezer to get the perfect sized ice cubes. This will be a matter of increasing the amount of water in the cooler and the amount of time you let water freeze.

TIP: Use filtered water to get the highest yield of clear ice. It will still contain impurities, but it will be much less than tap water

TIP: Set an alarm. There's no need to try and remember when to remove the water from the freezer - just set an alarm for 24 hours (or the respective time in your freezer).

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1 ice cube
Amount Per Serving Calories 1Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g

Did you make some clear ice?

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Clear Ice - Black Tie Kitchen