Clear ice is becoming increasingly popular in bars and restaurants. In addition, more people are making clear ice at home to impress their guests and treat themselves. I myself do it for my dates and it always makes a good impression.
However, is clear ice actually better than regular ice?
In many cases clear ice is better than regular ice. It is distilled or filtered so it tastes better than regular ice and takes longer to melt. It's also more beautiful than regular ice. However, it takes longer to make than regular ice and it's difficult to chew so there are some situations where regular ice is better.
This article explores how clear ice is better than regular ice. We will also discuss 4 ways clear ice is inferior to regular ice, so you have a clear indication of the pros and cons of clear ice.
5 Reasons Clear Ice Is Better Than Regular Ice
There are many reasons why people consider clear ice to be superior.
When making cocktails, for example, clear ice adds to the aesthetic of the drink. There are a variety of other reasons people choose and prefer clear ice over regular ice.
1. Clear Ice Looks Better
Clear ice doesn’t have any air bubbles or impurities like cloudy ice does.
This means that clear ice doesn't interfere with the aesthetic of your drink. Because clear ice is crystal clear and often in perfect shape, it adds to the beauty of your beverage. It also looks awe-inspiring.
Clear ice seems to disappear and become invisible in your drink. If you have a colorful cocktail then this can really bring out the color of the drink as the white color of regular ice doesn't detract from it.
In high-end restaurants, clear ice is often shaped into beautiful shapes, such as perfect spheres and diamonds. This makes the clear ice more impressive and gives your drink an edge over one that has regular ice.
To make amazing shapes with clear ice you'll want to use a japanese ice press.
2. Clear Ice Melts Slower And Dilutes Your Drink Less
Because clear ice doesn’t have any air bubbles, the ice is frozen much more solid. This means that clear ice melts much slower than regular ice.
One advantage of clear ice melting slower than regular ice is that it doesn't dilute your drink.
This ensures that you can enjoy the taste of your drink for much longer. In drinks like high end whiskeys, liqueurs or even iced coffee you don't want the ice to dilute the drink, so clear ice is the obvious choice for these beverages.
If you’re making drinks at home, it also means that you don’t have to add more ice every time you top up your drink because the ice melts much slower.
3. Clear Ice Is Usually Larger
You'll often find that clear ice cubes are much larger than regular ice cubes.
This is because making clear ice takes longer and works better when there is a bigger surface area. However, having larger ice cubes is beneficial because it aids in your ice melting slower.
Because a larger ice cube has a smaller surface area than its total size, the bigger ice cube melts slower.
This, combined with the absence of air bubbles, ensures your ice cubes last longer. You also don't need as many ice cubes in a glass when the ice cubes are bigger.
4. Clear Ice Tastes Better
Clear ice is mainly made using filtered, distilled or purified water. While you can make clear ice with tap water you'll get better results if you filter your water first before freezing it.
During filtration, pollutants and chemicals like chlorine are removed from the water. These chemicals often alter the taste of the water, and by removing them, the water tastes better.
Removing chemicals and minerals also helps the ice to freeze clearer than it otherwise would.
So clear ice often tastes better than regular ice if made using distilled or filtered water.
Another benefit of clear ice is that it doesn't alter the taste of your drink as it melts because it's made with higher quality water.
This is an excellent benefit of clear ice because regular ice made from tap water can sometimes make your drink taste odd.
5. Clear Ice Is Fun To Make
Finally, clear ice is more fun to make than regular ice. This might not be a scientific benefit of clear ice.
Still, it certainly is relevant if you make cocktails or drinks for fun and want to add another element to your drinks.
Clear ice requires more skill and patience. However, if you follow the correct steps when making clear ice you'll soon find that it isn't a complicated process.
In addition, you can enjoy experimenting with different molds and methods for making clear ice. You can also practice cutting the ice into intriguing shapes once frozen.
4 Reasons Clear Ice Is Worse
Unfortunately, there are also some disadvantages of clear ice. These disadvantages are subjective and depend on what you want to use the ice for. However, they are still relevant and should therefore be discussed. These are 4 reasons clear ice is worse than regular ice.
1. It Takes Longer To Make
As mentioned, clear ice takes longer to make than regular ice.
First you need filtered water. You also need a clear ice maker or a cooler box to ensure your water freezes omnidirectionally.
Then, your freezer should be set to its highest temperature to ensure the water freezes slowly, and the air bubbles have time to escape.
Also, because clear ice cubes are often bigger, they also take longer to freeze.
This mean clear ice usually takes around 24-48 hours to make compared to just 4 hours for regular run-of-the-mill ice cubes.
If you are in a hurry to have some ice ready for your guests you might want to make some regular ice instead of clear ice.
2. It’s Too Hard To Chew
Not everyone wants to chew their ice. But clear ice is a problem for those who like chewing their ice.
Because clear ice doesn't have any air bubbles in the center it is much harder than regular ice and far too hard to chew.
While this allows the ice to remain frozen for longer it does mean that no one can chew the ice as it melts.
This is a very subjective downside of clear ice but it is one worth mentioning if you like nibbling on ice.
If you love nibbling on ice then check out my guide for making soft chewy ice that is delicious to munch on.
3. It Doesn’t Absorb The Flavor Of The Drink
Another downside of clear ice is that it doesn’t absorb the flavor of your drink.
When you put regular ice or nugget ice in a glass and fill it with a beverage, the beverage goes into the cracks and air bubbles of the ice absorbing some of the flavors of the drink. This is why people love Sonic ice so much – here's how to make this delicious Sonic ice at home.
However, as clear ice doesn't have any air bubbles or cracks it cannot absorb any of the flavors of your beverage.
Therefore, you are left with a bland ball of ice when your drink is finished. It is too hard to chew and even if it weren't you wouldn't want to eat it because it'll have little to no flavor anyway.
4. It Takes Longer To Melt
The fact that clear ice takes longer to melt was mentioned as an advantage in the previous section.
However, in some instances it can also be a disadvantage.
For example, if you have a cocktail that needs to be watered down slightly so it tastes better and is easier to drink then having clear ice that takes forever to melt and slightly dilute your drink isn’t ideal.
Because clear ice takes so long to melt, it doesn't dilute your drink. If your cocktail or beverage is too strong you won't get any help from the ice to tone it down.