Kitchn Love Letters

I’ll Never Go Back to Regular Ice After Using This Game-Changing Ice Mold

published Oct 18, 2022
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Credit: Kim Lucian

If you know me, you know that I love drinking whiskey — but from the first time I stole some Scotch from my dad’s liquor cabinet drank legally at a bar, I knew I was an “on the rocks” guy. While I’m always game for a shot or a small, neat pour, there’s just something about the subtle dilution and presentation of a few cubes (or one large one) that elevates your experience. Have you ever been to a cocktail bar that has a really good ice program, with different shapes of ice for different drinks and glassware? If not, you’re missing out — for drinks served on the rocks, ice is usually the largest ingredient in the drink by volume, but often the one that’s most overlooked by the home bartender. Now, those bars usually have special freezers, molds, and tools for making, cutting, and shaping their blocks of frozen water, but there’s an easy way for the cocktail- and spirit-lover to bring a little taste of a high-quality ice program into their home: this large, covered ice mold from editor-favorite kitchen brand OXO. 

I’ve gone through a few ice molds in my time (some were leftover from my days behind the stick) but this one is the best I’ve used, bar none. It makes six large, 1.75-inch square cubes which keep anything you’re drinking perfectly chilled — and since one large cube is enough for a drink, you won’t end up over-diluting your beverage like you might with a bunch of smaller cubes from your fridge’s icebox. The best part about this mold, however, is that the flexible silicone tray that lets you easily remove the cubes is encased by a rigid frame which allows you to store it in your freezer without having to handle it like a block of gelatin.

But, Ian — why can’t I just use regular, uncovered ice cubes from my freezer? Well, dear reader, I personally don’t like uncovered ice because it tends to pick up a lot of the flavors and (often funky) smells that come from your fridge. And, while regular ice is great for drinks with lots of bold flavors that cover up the freezer scents, when I’m trying to enjoy a delicate whiskey, I want my ice to serve only two purposes: cooling my drink down and adding a touch of dilution. Now, put down the pitchforks and step away from your keyboards, whiskey nerds — I’m aware that the simplest and most hassle-free way to ensure my spirit doesn’t pick up off flavors from ice would be to just, you know, not use ice, but I like my whiskey on the rocks! Sue me. 

Credit: Ian Burke

And, it’s not just liquor that these big, honkin’ cubes are good for. They’re also perfect for cocktails and cold brew coffee — especially for cold brew concentrate, since you can dial in your coffee-to-water ratio and not have to worry about over-dilution once you add ice. They’re also showstoppers, and I promise that the next time you serve up a drink to a house guest with a cube from this OXO ice mold, they’ll be wowed by your professional-looking setup. (Just make sure your tip jar is prominently displayed.)