The “Quiet Luxury” Find That Instantly Makes Every Drink Feel Fancy (Even Water!)

updated Jun 13, 2024
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cognac coctail sits next to a shaker and a plate witj lemons
Credit: Brittany Conerly

Anytime I have a dinner party, I’ll set up a special cocktail for guests. For example, for Halloween two years ago, I went all out with a batch of bloody pomegranate margaritas, covered the walls with faux flying bats, and implemented Victorian-era dress code. The theme, of course, was vampires.

But not every party requires such an elaborate theme, and sometimes it’s the smallest details, like crystal-clear ice cubes, that make even a casual pre-dinner drink feel special. 

Now, before you shout from the rooftops that clear ice is a frivolous element, hear me out: isn’t ice a luxury in and of itself? As someone who can’t won’t consume a beverage without it, I think so. Crushed, cubed, crescent, nugget — ice in its many forms plays a huge role in the overall experience of a drink, with or without alcohol.

But clear ice, in particular, melts slower than opaque ice (you know, the ones in your freezer right now), so they won’t rapidly dilute your drink. Plus, having different types of ice for different drinks is a surefire way to make a dinner party feel special. So, of course I had to try out a clear ice maker.

What’s So Great About the Dexas Ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray?

The Dexas Ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray makes eight perfectly-translucent and oversized cubes, which melt slowly into drinks and allows you to enjoy a 4-ingredient Hugo cocktail or a classic Negroni before it gets too watered down.

But why do we even need a specialty ice maker to get clear ice? Because when water freezes, it traps and concentrates air bubbles and debris that aren’t necessarily visible in a liquid state, resulting in opaque ice, which you can see below on the left.

Dexas’ clear ice tray pushes the tiny air bubbles and impurities out through an opening at the top of the silicone mold while freezing, so you get a perfectly-clear cube in the mold (as seen on the right below) and a chunk of discard ice at the bottom of the plastic tray. Pretty neat, right?

Credit: Caroline Mullen

How Do You Use the Dexas Ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray?

Unlike traditional ice cube trays, the Dexas Ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray includes three pieces that each play a subtle but important role in making clear ice.

Don’t worry though, it’s still just as easy to use. Place the plastic tray in the foam shell, fill the tray with water, and then insert the silicone molds — that’s it. To get the ice cube out, release the molds. To set things up for the next batch of ice, microwave the plastic tray to melt the discard ice, or just let it sit out at room temp for a bit. 

Credit: Caroline Mullen

The cons to the ice maker are pretty obvious: it’s a tad bulky to keep in a small (or stuffed) freezer, and it’s definitely pricier than a standard ice cube tray. For someone like me who only consumes iced drinks, even though my usual silicone ice cube trays are, by most standards, fancier than usual, they still don’t compare to the luxury of a totally clear cube with zero visible impurities. It’s quiet luxury, but for ice.

And just imagine how beautiful they’d be with edible flowers or fruits suspended inside? That’s pretty much what summer party dreams are made of. 

Even if you’re not sold on your own need for crystal-clear ice cubes, this would make a great gift for an aspiring mixologist or passionate home bartender. And the bonus: you’ll get beautiful, slow-melting ice in your next craft cocktail. Win-win. 

Buy: Dexas Ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray, $34.23 (normally $36.41)