How to Make Whiskey Ice Balls

No one enjoys serving that perfectly aged bourbon, rye, or malt with a cloudy ice ball that is filled with impurities. Clean up your whiskey ice balls to serve a more aesthetically appeasing drink. If you want to enjoy your drink with beautiful clear ice balls in it, just follow the next steps and you will get it! So grab a glass, make some rocks, and enjoy your favorite like never before.


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    Understand what you're going to be doing. There are two important factors to produce clear ice: water quality and freezing method.
    • Water has trapped gas particles and impurities in it that lead to that cloudy appearance. Removing the gases and impurities is the first step to achieving clear ice; therefore pure, distilled water is needed.
    • The second crucial step to achieving clear ice is the freezing method. In the freezer, a sphere will freeze from all sides to the center, this traps impurities/gases inside the ball and is another reason for the clearer ice.
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    Get the silicone mold.
    • It is simply a hollow silicon ball with a small hole, about a fingertip size, so you can fill it with water through it. And the mold can be broken into two halves in order to get the ice ball out after the water freezes.
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    Build a square rack with popsicle sticks for freezing. Placing the mold on a rack in a freezer will freeze the water equally from all sides.
    • Attach the wooden sticks to one another, using the wires and the craft glue. The rack should be suitable to hold the molds; they should NOT pass through it, but stay hung on it. Make sure to measure the length of the sticks comparing to the size of the pot and the molds to do this step accurately. The pictures shown will help you understand this part well.
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    Hang the rack horizontally in the middle of the container using some wires.
    • This will allow for the mold's fill-hole to be submerged under the water of the pot.
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    Fill the pot with water. You need enough so fill holes on mold can be submerged but also allow the mold to be partially above water.
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    Double boil the distilled water.
    • Simply boil the water, let sit, and do it again. This step is necessary to get a clear and pure ice crystal. Distilled water has no minerals and impurities in it; it has only water molecules. And the double boiling method remove trapped gases from the water. Those are two important factors to get a clear ice ball.
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    After the boiled water has cooled down to room temperature, fill the mold until the water is overflowing.
    • Directly after filling the mold place your thumb over the fill hole to prevent any air from entering.
    • Place the mold upside down so that fill hole faces down into the stand.
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    Invert the mold onto you homemade stand. Do not release your thumb from the fill hole until it is submerged to ensure no air enters.
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    Repeat the process for all molds that can fit in the rack at once.
    • The molds need to be upside down and submerged in water to prevent air from entering the molds, and building a rack like the one in the picture will help for this position
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    Prepare to freeze. Set the temperature to as close as possible to 0 degrees F.
    • Remove excess water with baster or syringe if necessary.
    • The pot needs to be filled to the level which would submerge the fill hole, but leave as much mold above water as possible.
    • Ensure no air is trapped under molds by slightly shaking the pot.
    • Wrap the pot "TIGHTLY" with a towel to slow down the freezing and force the freezing to take place in a top down method. This will allow the water in the molds to freeze before the water in the container does.
    • this can be done by folding the towel lengthwise then wrapping around the base of the pot
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    Freeze. Prepare your freezer by setting the temperature to as close as possible to 0 degrees.
    • Place the entire container, wrapped with a towel, in the freezer being careful not to knock it over or allow air to enter the molds.
    • Freeze for approximately 18 hours.The key is to ensure the mold is completely frozen and the top of the reservoir is frozen, however, it's okay if there is some liquid at the very bottom.
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    Enjoy your drink! Remove the ice ball from the mold and add to your drink!


  • Make sure the wires are strong enough to hold the molds with water and are able to be cut (galvanized steel wires is a good idea)
  • Air is your enemy. Avoid it like the plague.
  • You can buy the molds online by typing in “spherical silicone ice mold”, or you can find it in many supermarkets like Target and Meijer.
  • You may find molds that are composed of many balls attached to each other; do not get those! Make sure to have the mold that is a separate ball by itself since it will be easier to hold it, seal it with your thumb, and flip it over.
  • Reverse osmosis water (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove larger particles from drinking water.[1] RO water is another good choice for producing clear ice balls.
  • You can also put some fruits inside the mold before you fill it with water. This way you will get a special clear ice ball with a colorful sweet fruits inside it!

Things You'll Need

  • Spherical silicone molds
  • distilled water (NOT the same as purified water)
  • wooden sticks
  • wires
  • wire cutters
  • freezer
  • pot or any container that can freeze without getting damaged
    • an ideal size would be 5qts
  • towel(s)
  • craft glue

Article Info

Categories: Alcoholic Drinks | Bartending