Does Craft Ice Really Dilute A Cocktail's Flavor?

The world of cocktails ranges from the simple pour-and-stir to the deliciously complex, but no matter what you drink, a cold cocktail is always a welcome summer luxury. There are even a few classic cocktails you should know how to make if you want to make yourself a nice evening treat at home!

But past the fancy garnishes and salted rims, there's one thing that most people may overlook: the ice. While there's nothing wrong with the standard ice cubes you have at home, many, such as trained mixologists and Williams-Sonoma Taste, argue that cocktail ice is a critical part of the cocktail process, as there must be a balance between just the right amount of dilution and the perfect cold temperature. One such type of ice used in cocktails and other mixed drinks is craft ice.

Craft ice, according to LG, is a "slow-melting, round ice" — ice shaped into a sphere, to be exact. LG describes craft ice as a "game-changer for home entertainers," proclaiming that with its specialty refrigerators, one can enjoy the supposed "benefits" of craft ice each and every day. But how exactly does the shape of ice change anything, you wonder? Is it just another case of an overexaggerated marketing pitch, or is craft ice better than your average ice cube? The answer may not lie in any specialty refrigerators but rather in the science and the design of craft ice.

The unique shape of craft ice keeps it from melting too quickly

According to The Takeout, LG's boasts about its exclusive craft ice are both correct and incorrect. While LG didn't exactly invent the spherical-shaped ice cube, The Takeout explains that its claims that round ice is better than your regular square cubes aren't too far from the truth.

As Mixology Ice explains, craft ice's advantage comes in the form of its shape, having less surface area while still having the same amount of volume. In layman's terms, the spherical shape of craft ice means that you can have one large "ice ball" in your drink, which is equal to several smaller ice cubes. 

The secondary advantage of craft ice is that, because of the smaller surface area, less ice is exposed to your drink, meaning that it will melt slower and, in turn, dilute your drink slower. Of course, this doesn't mean the ice ball isn't melt-proof in any way; it can still dilute your drink, should you leave it out too long. It'll just take a longer time to do so than your average ice chunks.

If you're unable to acquire craft ice, you needn't worry. According to MasterClass, craft ice isn't the only type of ice you can use for your cocktails. Large ice cubes can be used in a similar way as craft ice, being able to cool a drink while diluting slower. This works best, MasterClass explains, on "spirit-heavy drinks, such as the Old-Fashioned, Negroni, and Manhattan." Ultimately, using the wrong ice is perhaps just one of the biggest mistakes we're making with our cocktails.