Looking back to my post about Ice, it occurs to me that I haven’t given much in the way of practical advice about how to do ice at home.
These lovely beauties are silicon ice trays that I picked up at a Kitchen Collection outlet store. The pair of them were not that expensive, I think they ran me $5 together.
They are pretty solid, if flexible and make lovely large square cubes. 15 cubes to a tray and 2 trays to the set you get a nice run to 30 cubes every time.
Like any big ice cube they do tend to crack when you put something warmer into the glass and they’re very very square which means they don’t give you a lot of room. I was able to fit about 3 into a highball before they ran over the rim, four simply wouldn’t go.
These are the kind of cubes I would recommend for your finished product. They’re showy and crisp and your alcohol should be below zero when you serve it after shaking so cracking isn’t really an issue.
I did test them in my shaker and much like the glass you can’t fit very many into the cup. This means you’re going to get a lot less cooling but also less dilution as they have less surface area to melt from. The big drawback as you can see below is that the sharp corners tend to break off like a rock grinder.
The cubes wind up almost round and there are lots of little flecks of ice chip left in your product which will require careful straining or an discerning drinker.
I’ve had a lot of these kinds of trays before, generally in the fashion of odd shapes since it’s easier to make a han solo ice cube in silicon than it is in plastic. Without fail all of the previous ones I have tried have given the ice a funny flavor after a few uses. I’m not sure what to attribute this to, or how to correct it. I’ve tried giving them a good scrub, putting them in the top rack of the dishwasher, and a few other things like vinegar. Nothing seems to help if they’re doing it. So far I haven’t noticed anything with these cubes and I’ve tried them with water, juice, tea and cocktails. Not sure if that’s because they’re a better quality product or not.
I haven’t found them as cheaply as the outlet store pricing but amazon seems to have a nice collection.
One of the other things I like about these is that the cups are deep and square. You’ll get a nice cube no matter how much you fill the cups so if you want something smaller you need only fill them half way or a quarter way full and presto more room in the glass.