Should You Use Round Or Square Ice Cubes For Whiskey?

When serving up high quality whiskey it's a good idea to use a large clear block of ice in your whiskey. This ice will melt slower and won't dilute the whiskey as quickly as smaller white cubes of ice. But is it better to use round or square ice cubes for whiskey?

You can use round of square ice cubes for whiskey, it's just a matter of personal preference. Round ice cubes dilute the drink a little less than square due to less surface area. It's important is to use high quality large clear ice not smaller white ice cubes.

Apart from deciding which shape of ice to serve with our whiskey, the first step would be to learn how to make these various ice shapes. Continue reading to find out how.

Should You Use Round Or Square Ice Cubes For Whiskey?

Whiskey is one of those drinks that is consumed according to personal preferences. Some prefer their whiskey neat, others like it with a splash of water, while others prefer it on the rocks. 

And while whiskey connoisseurs may scoff at the thought of putting ice (or water) in a glass of whiskey, the truth is, ice is a point of personal preference and can make whiskey that much more palatable for some. The taste of whiskey served at room temperature and whiskey on the rocks is not the same. 

Ice helps to cool the whiskey and reduce the intensity of flavor somewhat by diluting it. This is why many people opt for ice in their drinks.

So, which ice cube shape is ideal for whiskey? Round or square?

Again, just how whiskey is consumed according to personal preferences, so is the shape of ice used a matter of personal preference. 

Let's talk about how these different ice cube shapes behave in your whiskey glass in a little more detail. Round ice melts at a much slower pace than other shapes due to a reduced surface area to volume. This means your whiskey will benefit from being cold without the dilution that usually results from other ice shapes.

Considering how round ice interacts in our whiskey glass, this ice shape could be ideal for individuals who prefer their drink less diluted or likes to take their time sipping their glass of whiskey.

Large square ice cubes, on the other hand, can have a similar effect to round ice cubes. 

These large ice cubes melt (and therefore dilute) at a slower pace. So if you are a slow drinker and prefer your whiskey towards the neater side, large square ice cubes could work best for you.

If you like your drink a little bit more diluted or you tend to finish your drinks in a shorter period of time, small square ice cubes could be the best choice for you.

These ice cubes chill whiskey at a fast rate; however, they tend to melt just as fast. So, all in all, the best shape of ice to use in whiskey is up to the drinker.

How To Make Perfect Ice For Whiskey

To add to the elegance of our whisky glass, we need to make sure we make the correct type of ice. When making ice, two common types of ice exist; clear ice, like those found in high-end restaurants, and white ice, like the cloudy ice found in your ice tray that looks like a cold winter's morning. 

White appears cloudy due to trapped air bubbles in the water when it freezes. When preparing ice for whiskey, we want to make clear ice and not white ice. Clear ice doesn't only look way more aesthetically pleasing; it also melts at a slower rate than white ice. To achieve white ice, we need to make sure that our water quality is on Par. 

Distilled bottled water or water filtered will be suitable. If you do not have distilled bottled water, there are other options. Boiling water helps to remove as much air and minerals in the water before freezing. You can use any type of water when you boil it. 

You should boil water a total of two times; however, make sure to allow the water to sufficiently cool down before boiling a second time. After the water is boiled, it is ready to be frozen. 

There are many methods to freeze clear ice, but the easiest method is placing the water in an ice tray and covering it with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will help keep particles from entering the ice.

Leave to freeze for a few hours. Then, take the ice out of the freezer and remove it from the tray. You should find that the ice is clear.

How To Make Round Or Square Ice Cubes For Whiskey

Now the question we have all been waiting for; exactly how do you make these different shaped ice? Out of all the shapes, square ice cubes are probably the easiest to make. All you have to do is freeze a block of ice and, once frozen, cut the ice into squares. 

So what about sphere-shaped ice cubes? How do you make those? Well, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and an innate artistry ability, sculpting sphere-shaped ice by hand is not for you.

However, we live in the 21st century. And as such, there are easier and faster ways of making round or square-shaped ice. 

And not just round and square shapes. You can make diamond-shaped ice too! You can't get more high-end with your ice than that.

To make different shaped ice cubes, you need to use an ice press. Ice presses do precisely what the name entails; they press the ice into shape. Ice presses usually include a mold for freezing a block of ice.

Once the block of ice is made, place the ice in between the ice press and let gravity do its work. The tops part of the ice press will slowly press its way down through the block of ice, carving the ice as it moves into the desired shape.

As soon as the two parts of the ice press touch, the ice should be sculpted into shape. All you need to do now is serve your whiskey over the round, square, or diamond-shaped ice cubes that were just made in the ice press and relax. It is easy as 1 2 3.


The choice of ice used in a whiskey glass is a matter of personal preference. However, knowing how fast the ice melts or how quickly a certain shape can chill your whiskey will help you decide which ice shape best fits your taste.