Ever seen those drinks adverts with perfectly clear ice cubes? It’s not special effects, but rather a special process of freezing water. Forget about those tiny, cloudy cubes of ice from your ice cube tray and start getting serious about ice.

Follow our certified six step method to achieve perfect ice…


Bartender cutting ice with a knife

Making clear ice cubes – the six-step method

This super easy method only requires three components for success. Water, a cooler and a freezer. Making these little bartender basics is that simple! 

Follow these instructions below to achieve crystal clear ice cubes every time:

  1. Step 1 - Get an insulated cooler that you can fit inside your freezer. 
  2. Step 2 - Fill the entire cooler with water and put it into the freezer with the lid open or removed.
  3. Step 3 - Wait until the block is frozen all the way through, then remove the cooler and the ice block. Complete freezing could take anywhere from 24 - 48 hours. 
  4. Step 4 - Set the block in a clean plastic bucket and leave it out for roughly an hour to let it temper.
  5. Step 5 - Using a serrated knife, carefully score the block. Use a mallet on the back of the knife to carefully split the ice. If it starts cracking, let it temper a little longer.
  6. Step 6 - The ice that comes out should be almost perfectly clear. If there is any clouding at the top, cut it off using your serrated knife.


NOTE: To make clear ice at home, you will need to decrease the freezing speed of your ice. To slow down the speed of freezing you can simply use a small, insulated cooler which you place inside your freezer. Anything inside that cooler will freeze much slower, giving air bubbles a chance to escape before they get caught inside the ice.

Alternatively, you could put an ice tray into the cooler to make smaller cubes of ice. The freezing time would, therefore, be cut, taking roughly 24 hours to freeze. 


whisky glass with ice

Why is the ice in my drink always cloudy?

Basically, ice becomes cloudy when it’s frozen too quickly. The ice freezes from the outside in, meaning impurities like dissolved minerals are pushed into the centre during crystallisation. This is why ice appears cloudy sometimes. 

Cloudy ice isn’t dangerous, it’s just unsightly and ruins a perfectly made cocktail a little. Cloudy ice is much lower quality than a clear ice cube because it melts much faster. Using a cloudy ice cube for whiskey on the rocks is almost certain to ruin the experience. By following our method above, you will be able to achieve amazingly clear ice cubes, just like huge diamonds. 


Whisky cocktail for the festivities

What’s the science behind clear ice?

The science behind clear ice is the speed of freezing. You may have heard of techniques like using boiling water, using distilled water, pure water or even boiling the water twice. None of these techniques work, however. 

To achieve clear ice, you must freeze the water slowly. If you’ve ever been to a cold, snowy country then you’ll have noticed the glass-like icicles hanging from roofs. These icicles are frozen slowly, as one layer of water freezes on top of another. This prevents impurities from becoming trapped and the ice becoming cloudy. 

When making your clear ice, the tempering part is key to success. Tempering is leaving the ice outside of the freezer to melt a very small amount. This means that any freezer burn or impurities on the outside melts off, leaving a perfect piece of ice. 

Nowadays, ice machines simulate this freezing process to an acceptable standard. However, these machines will set you back a few hundreds of pounds. Try this six-step method to achieve clear ice easily at home. 


Making cocktails with crystal clear ice is important. Now, you’ve mastered the ice, take a look at these blogs to master the cocktails: What is a cocktail and best cocktails to make at home

Want to make cocktails professionally? Read about our EBS Bartender Courses here.