Everything you need to know about Ice and Cocktails

Have you ever wondered why some cocktails taste so much better than others? It may surprise you that the answer lies in something as elemental and straightforward as ice. Yes, it's true! When creating delicious drinks at home or when ordering from a bar, proper use of ice – and yes, even how it is made – can truly make all the difference between tasty and—well…not-so-tasty. So, if we've piqued your interest and have you wondering what else there is to know about ice cubes and how they can enhance your favourite cocktail experience, read on! We at POUR'D are here today to help remove any mysteries surrounding this seemingly simple drink ingredient!

How to never run out of ice

The best way to never run out of ice is first to get a good ice tray. You can, of course, buy ice from your local supermarket, but it's costly after a while and usually is all clumped together where it's defrosted and re-frosted in transit. You also can invest in a small ice machine, but they aren't great for small kitchens, are noisy and expensive. 

We use an Amazon Silicone Ice Tray with a lid and bin at home. It is under £10 and makes 24 square ice cubes at a time which is perfect for shaking in a cocktail. The silicone makes the cubes easy to get out once frozen, the lid makes it easy to put in the freezer without spilling and lastly, the bin is perfect as you can empty the tray once frozen into the bin so you build a stock of plenty of ice without spending more than the £10 for the tray. 

If you have a simple ice tray, you can empty it into a sandwich bag and keep it in the freezer to make more ice than just what the tray allows you. This is also a cheap way to build up your ice stock when you want to shake lots of cocktails. 


How to make crushed ice 

Certain cocktails, such as the Bramble and the Moscow Mule, call for crushed ice to go on top. Let's face it, no one will have a slushy ice machine handy at home, but there is a straightforward way to make this using everyday kitchen utensils. 

All you need is a teatowel and a rolling pin. Pop the ice cubes in the tea towel and carefully bash them with the rolling pin until crushed. Then you can place it on top of your drink!


How to make clear ice cubes

One thing that elevates a cocktail experience is having ultra-clear ice cubes, especially in short drinks like a Negroni or an Old Fashioned. We use at home a Crystal Clear Ice Maker from Amazon. The trick with making the ice clear is having filtered, super clean water and then letting it freeze slowly. Using anything with insulation will freeze slower and mean fewer air bubbles get trapped inside the ice, making it cloudy. 

Freezing in a mould like the one above is much safer, and you can get an excellent sphere shape for your drink. In cocktail bars, they'll have a block and tools to break it apart and make it fit your glass perfectly. You can do this at home, but you need proper gloves and tools to do it safely.