Homemade Cocktail Ice Cubes: 5 Ways Reviewed Including 2 DIY Options

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Kibbling

    Good content, but please don’t use slideshow format. It’s very annoying.

    • Jack

      i dont mean to disregard your opinion or seem contrary, but I actually enjoy the slideshow format… The annoying slideshows on websites are the ones that reload the page. This one is seamless.

    • ttam

      Could’ve been a worse format of slideshow. AskMen switched to an awful slideshow-format.

      I thought this was functional and didn’t take away from the content of the article.

      • http://www.themodestman.com/ Brock

        This is an awesome slideshow! Love that the page doesn’t reload for every slide (unlike all those bigger publishers who are just trying to get more page views…). Keep it up, Andrew!

    • BYC

      I enjoyed it in this case. Not like the BS article factory slideshows that load the whole page (and all the ads again). This was a quick transition.

    • Josh Stone

      Slideshow view is not very mobile friendly.

  • ecwe

    Great article

  • Dan

    You can fill a water balloon to the size ice cube you want and freeze it. It’s very easy to remove the balloon and you can easily control the size of the cube.

    • ThisGuy

      Exactly what I was thinking. Hang them in your freezer for a more spherical effect.

    • Tom

      Good idea. Anyone tried this? I would be afraid of a rubber taste/smell when the cube starts to melt.

      • matt

        Yes do it all the time. You just briefly rinse the cube when it comes out. 🙂

      • Ryan

        I did it with a big one for a punch bowl. Just make sure you give it enough time to freeze through, or you’ll end up dumping a ton of water into the drink when it melts through the ice shell.

    • midcpro

      Not sure how “food safe” a balloon would be, but then again, you’re not supposed to drink from an outdoor hose and we do that all the time!

  • Rob Dc

    I thought the slideshow format was slick and classy. It’s for ice cubes for your booze…

  • yeld

    Most supermarkets or liquor stores sell disposable plastic shot glasses. Fill as many as you want with filtered water and freeze them. You’ll get a cool cone or cylinder shaped, neat piece of ice. Don’t use glass shot glasses.

  • RRod3

    I love my Tovolo tray. It’s really easy to use and a 2″ cube is the perfect size for my drinks and my pace. If I made anything larger, it would be more difficult to stir.

  • http://twitter.com/mdigirol Matt
  • Ben

    Gotta recommend boiling your filtered water first to get clear, bar-looking ice.

    Does nothing for the drink, but it just looks so much cooler :]

  • Chris W

    This death star ice mold works well. Downside is only one at time obviously.


  • MyFlyDontDie

    all good stuff, I have the tovolo cubes and the sphere thing….my issues is not making the cubes but how to make them perfectly clear..anyone got suggestions on that

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Like Ben mentioned, try using boiled filtered water.

    • Steve Gordon

      The secret is to only let the cube freeze from one side, that way air can escape. And/or to keep the surface of the water moving while the bottom freezes. Not sure how they do it in bars but probably some special machine.

      • Josh Stone

        I have had decent results by checking on the cubes an hour in and breaking apart the thin top sheet that has formed. That reduces the cloudy/fractured bit in the middle of the cube. Using boiled water results in clear ice.

    • Damnitjanet

      Boiled water or distilled

  • MyFlyDontDie

    I was recently at a very nice hotel and they had these massive icecubes in their cocktails…but they are all perfectly square and perfectly clear…just curious how its done

  • Kurt

    I have been using a muffin tray that is made from silicone like the tovolo tray, easy to use and makes the perfect size for my rocks glasses.

  • Tristan

    Great article. I especially enjoy the slideshow format. It’s picture journalism/blogging at its best!!! Keep it up sir!

  • sam

    Anybody tried paper bathroom cups? Fill to the top with water, freeze, and peel away the paper when that 5PM whistle blows.

  • AJ

    I have the Trovolo molds, which I purchased for myself after gifting them to a friend in a secret santa. If you’re worried about quantity you can purchase an ice bucket or trough similar to what they have in freezers with automatic ice makers. Whenever I grab a ball for myself I empty both and place the spare in the bucket. This lets me build up a good surplus of spheres.
    I haven’t had any problems with them sticking together yet. I would think the minimal contact of sphere on sphere stacking would help avoid that.
    I’m sure this would work with the other molds/methods as well, though the flat surfaces may stick.

  • BYC

    I have the Tovolo Cube Tray and love it. It’s one of those random household items that is so simple and cheap yet you use it all the freaking time. Nothing is more enjoyable than coming home after work on friday, popping out a cube, and enjoying a bourbon on the rocks.

  • Adam

    I too like this presented as a slide show.
    Just one graphical tip: For your ratings, get rid of the empty, outlined stars. They come out pixelated and therefore they almost read as whole stars.
    e.g.: for something 1 out of 4, just have one complete star; you don’t need the empty stars as fillers after that.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew


      Thanks for the comment and the image. This is what it looks like on my end. If you have a spare moment I’d love to see what the pixelated star looks like.

      • Ryan N

        I agree with Adam. Here is my view:

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          Awesome, thanks so much!

  • Andrew

    Empty pudding cups make the best easy ice blocks that fit perfectly into a glass.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      This is a great idea!

  • Justin

    A bit more expensive of an option but having clear ice is a cool effect. This is a friend of mines project. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1558658596/the-ice-baller-makes-clear-slow-melting-ice-sphere

  • JB32nd

    Boil the water first. That way when it freezes it freezes clear (restaurant style) and not “cloudy” like homemade ice.

  • Nathan

    I just ordered the Kingdom Sphere Tray. I image you could run the sphere under water to eliminate the imperfections and then back into the freezer to await use.

  • BYC

    Bought the Tovolo sphere molds to mess around with based on this article. It’s actually alot easier to use than it would initially appear. You can peel the mold off without the warm water, and even using the warm water doesn’t take that long. I would say it takes less than a minute to get out the frozen ice sphere, refill the thing with water, and place it back in the freezer. The only issue i’m seeing is that for some reason the mold causes the sphere to have some large cracks throughout it. At some point (second or third pour of whiskey), the ball will fall apart into three or four pieces. I’m still experimenting how to freeze it so a crackless ice ball is made.

  • Don

    Where did you get those glasses from?

  • Aloha

    As a avid bartender in my college room, I found that using small size gallons such as the grenade kind tend to make perfect size cubes, just fill them up and freeze, then peel apart.

  • Aloha


  • Mario Andres Fajardo

    Balloons fill with water freeze then when ready to drink run under sink balloon skin will rip put in glass add single malt & enjoy .

    • http://stores.ebay.com/Pattease-Bijoux Pattease

      Mario, hiya! Yes, a good quality plastic balloon would work., less likely to impart any off-full flavors! Plus, who tastes it pass the juice, anyway?

  • Pattease

    Good Evening, Gentlemen! I’ve enjoyed your discussion. If I may add it’s refreshing to witness a parlay on the perfect cube. I laud your individual ideas, and had one which involved aluminum muffin cups yet the thought was perpetuated by E6000 fumes! Started to see orange halos! Yikes! Dissolved into giddiness when thoughts of adding small plastic toys circulated ’round me ‘ead. My! Phew! (fumes clearing).
    Love witnessing & participating, thank you! Oh, as an aside, I’d get some take-out cubes- easiest by far, hmm…

  • Oskar

    All frosty! What about clear ice?

  • Terry

    just saw this and got one from http://www.mylstne.com

  • Jim Blakey

    The easy-to-use, high capacity ClearlyFrozen ice tray makes ten 2″ glass-like artisanal ice cubes overnight with untreated tap water in an ordinary freezer. It costs just $25.01 – a fraction of the price of other clear ice products that make fewer than half as many cubes. Great for home use, and for craft cocktails in high end bars and restaurants.

  • Jim Blakey

    Correction – The easy-to-use, high capacity ClearlyFrozen ice tray makes ten 2″
    glass-like artisanal ice cubes overnight with untreated tap water in an
    ordinary freezer. It costs just $24.99 – a fraction of the price of
    other clear ice products that make fewer than half as many cubes. Great
    for home use, and for craft cocktails in high end bars and restaurants. Check it out at http://www.clearlyfrozen.com