How to Make Crystal Clear Ice

Written by Nikki Seelam and Zhen-Mei Huang

Check out the YouTube video linked above for visual step-by-step aid as well as funny behind-the-scenes content.

You’ve probably walked into a cocktail bar at one point of your life and seen some sparkly, crystal ice and wondered “how do they make it so clear”? And no, before you ask, they are not using any special water or magic. A quick google search will actually prove that it is actually very easy to get your ice to be crystal clear. It’s not boiling or purifying the water, but a method called “directional freezing”

Directional freezing  is the process of freezing water in one singular direction, so while the other sides are insulated, the frozen current is working in only one direction and pushes the impurities down. Thicker cut ice also allows for slowing melting, making it less likely to dilute your cocktail, so you can enjoy it for longer! This will give you that beautiful, glass-like ice to add a bit of class to any cocktail.


  • Medium to Large Cooler (Preferably with a removable lid)
  • Water
  • Serrated Knife


  1. Remove or leave cooler top open and proceed to fill container with water, ¾ of the way full.
  2. Place cooler in freezer and leave it to freeze for 24 hours.

3.  After the 24 hours have passed, remove cooler and flip the icebox over in the sink. Run hot water over the cooler until you hear the ice drop.

4.  After you released your ice block, move it over to a cutting board.

5.  With a towel in one hand, hold the ice block steadily.

6.  Use your serrated knife to gently “hack” or tap the knife into a straight line in the ice to create two halves. This can be a messy process, so be prepared!

7.  Once you have created a divet, gently cut/saw back and forth with the serrated knife to break the pieces off.

8.  Continue to cut pieces off until you have the desired amounts of ice. 

9.  Serve in your glass and enjoy!