The Basics Bar Tools

The 7 Best Clear Ice Molds in 2021

Clear ice is goals. It's now easier than ever with these effective molds.

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Clear ice is often pinnacle ice for many professional bartenders, because it is beautiful to look at, free of impurities, and just elevates the overall cocktail experience. There are companies that make clear ice for bars and restaurants, but it’s also possible to make it yourself at home. All you need is water and a freezer, which presumably most people with kitchens have.

There are several different types of clear ice makers, but most are molds made of silicone that give you sphere or square-shaped cubes. It can be difficult to navigate through all the options out there, many of which will often give varied results. That's why we're here, with the research from industry professionals to back it up!

Here are some suggestions for the best clear ice molds to get right now, with some expert advice on what to look for.

Best Overall: Clearly Frozen Clear Ice Cube Tray

 ClearlyFrozen High Capacity

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Makes ten cubes

  • Easy to use

  • Very clear ice

Cons
  • Takes up freezer space

“There are now a lot of trays that make [clear] ice without hacking,” says Camper English, drinks writer and dedicated clear ice obsessive who taught the world how to make it at home in a cooler. “I think the Clearly Frozen tray gives you a lot of bang for your buck.”

Employing the directional freezing method, which English often refers to on his cocktail blog Alcademics, this silicone mold along with a foam insulation box helps to control the direction in which the water freezes. This process insulates all sides of the ice except for the top, pushing the air bubbles and impurities down as it freezes from the top down. The result is clear, pure, mirror-like ice.

This BPA-free mold gives you ten 2-inch ice cubes that are exceedingly clear, meaning you will have more than enough for a cocktail party or just a couple of drinks with friends.

What Our Editors Say

"The Clearly Frozen ice cube tray makes the clearest ice I've ever made from a mold. It may take up some precious real estate in your freezer but those big, sexy, crystal clear cubes are worth it!" Prairie Rose, Editor

Best Budget: SIMPLETASTE Crystal Clear Ice Ball Maker

SIMPLETASTE Crystal Clear Ice Ball Maker

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Affordable

  • BPA-free

  • Only makes two cubes

Cons
  • Takes a long time to freeze

  • Takes up freezer space

Priced less than $30, this is a great budget option for people looking to make clear ice at home. The material is BPA-free silicone, making it safe for drinks, and it’s very simple to use.

First, add water into the container, then push the mold down and freeze for about 18 hours. This slow freezing process means the ice freezes very clearly, which you’ll discover when you pull apart the handles and break away the exterior ice. Granted, you’ll have to plan ahead for your drinks given the freezing time, but it’s well worth it at this price.

Best Unconventional Shape: Goodvibe Crystal Clear Ice Skull Maker Mold

 Crystal Clear Ice Skull Maker Mold

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good for Halloween or parties

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Conversation starters

Cons
  • Expensive for two cubes

  • Might not fit into every glass

It doesn’t have to be Halloween to use this clear ice maker, although that would certainly be a good time to bust it out. Purified or boiled water is not needed for this ice mold, which will create two shockingly accurate skull ice cubes, each one clear and sized to put in a whiskey tumbler or cocktail glass. The BPA-free silicone is dishwasher safe, making it a cinch to clean.

Related: The Best Ice Buckets in 2021

Best Sphere/Ball: Dexas ice•ology Clear Ice Cube Tray

Dexas ice•ology Clear Ice Cube
Pros
  • Ice comes out easily

  • Perfect sphere shape

  • Very clear

Cons
  • A bit pricey

  • Only makes two cubes

“For spheres, I like the Dexas Iceology tray,” says English. “It's well-built and the ice pulls out more easily than with any other tray. I would imagine that this brand's cube trays are also high-quality.”

According to the brand, the molds separate while freezing to keep impurities out of the ice, resulting in impressively clear ice cubes for your cocktails.

Related: The Best Sphere Ice Molds

Best with Lid: Glacio Clear Cube Ice Duo

Glacio Clear Cube Ice Duo
Pros
  • Keeps odors out of ice

  • Won't spill

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Very large for two cubes

If you’re worried about your ice getting contaminated by flavor or odor when sitting in your freezer, it might be a good idea to get a clear ice mold with a cover to keep unwanted elements out.

The Glacio Clear Cube Ice Duo comes with a fully enclosed box made from food-grade silicone. Simply fill it up, cover, and stick in the fridge until ready. It will produce two large, perfectly square cubes that are surprisingly clear.

Related: The Best Ice Cube Trays in 2021

Best Easy-Release: Rabbit Clear Ice Tray

Metrokane Rabbit Clear Ice Cube Tray

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Easy to get ice out of tray

  • Good size cubes

Cons
  • Only makes four cubes

  • Not the smallest option available

You want to spend your time making cocktails, not figuring out how to pop out stubbornly frozen ice cubes from their mold. That won’t be a problem with this clear ice mold from Rabbit, which makes four square cubes perfect for any cocktail. The individual molds slide out of the base, making it easy to just push them out with your fingers. Definitely give this a try if you’ve had trouble keeping your clear ice in one piece.

Best for Whiskey: True Cubes

True Cubes Clear Ice Cube Tray

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Very clear ice

  • Great for slowly diluting whiskey without affecting flavor

  • Good size

Cons
  • Long freezing time

  • Takes up freezer space

Even the whiskey-obsessed like to add a nice, large ice cube to their dram of choice every now and then. But when doing so, you want to make sure that ice isn’t going to over-dilute your precious tipple or alter its flavor. This clear ice maker from True Cubes will do neither, just slowly add a bit of water and coolness to your whiskey, and look great while doing it. And it couldn’t be easier to use—just fill up the molds and pop in the freezer.

Final Verdict

Clearly Frozen (view at Amazon) is the best overall option for making clear ice at home. It’s not the cheapest you’ll find, but it’s worth it. Producing ten 2-inch crystal clear ice cubes, this mold may actually be the best value considering how many perfect cubes you get at a time. Use this ice maker for cocktails or spirits, without affecting the look or flavor of your drink at all.

FAQs

Does it matter if you boil water before freezing?

“Boiling water makes no significant difference in clarity when you're making clear-only ice,” says English. “It makes more difference in regular cloudy ice, but probably not enough to justify the effort.”

Should you use filtered water for clear ice or can you use tap?

“Use filtered water if you like the taste better, but not to improve clarity,” says English. “It might not make much difference in the flavor either, but since I have a Brita out on the counter anyway I use it for my cubes.”

Do the cubes stay clear if you store after releasing from tray?

“Yes cubes remain clear forever once you make them,” says English. “However, if you want to protect them from freezer/fridge smells, as well as from sublimation, store them in Tupperware or Ziploc bags in your freezer.”

What to Look For

Material

Ideally, you want to use BPA-free silicone that’s graded to use for food. The good news is that virtually all ice molds nowadays are made of this, so it won’t be hard to find, and you can rest assured that no chemicals will get into your drinks.

Shape

The main shapes clear ice molds come in are sphere or square. Both offer a large amount of surface area so that the ice will melt slowly and not dilute your drink too quickly.

Size

Size is certainly something to consider, as freezer space can be limited. The clear ice mold trays are usually smaller and easier to store, while some of the more complicated systems can be larger, around the size of a large shoebox. Before buying, make sure you have enough room in your freezer to use.

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Jonah Flicker is an experienced writer who has been covering spirits and traveling the world visiting distilleries for many years. His work has appeared in many different national outlets, covering trends, new releases, and the stories and innovators behind the spirits. His first love remains whiskey, but he is partial to tequila, rum, gin, cognac and all things distilled.

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Article Sources
Liquor.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. What is directional freezing? Alcademics. Accessed August 16, 2021. https://www.alcademics.com/2016/04/what-is-directional-freezing.html

  2. Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application. Updated June 27, 2018.

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