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The subject of whiskey stones is a somewhat controversial one: Many purists and experts tend to write them off as a contrived chilling method, but the overwhelming attitude of the bartending community is to drink what you want, the way you want it. Plus, whiskey stones have other uses besides just cooling down your spirit without dilution, according to Maggie Eckl, an NYC-based bartender.
“They’re super useful when you’re sitting outside and enjoying some wine during warmer weather,” she shares. “They bring some environmental sustainability while giving more control to consumers who don’t want an overdiluted drink.” Lastly, Eckl notes, the flavors present in any spirit or wine vary at different temperatures, so stones are a great way to expand your palate.
We combed through the many options available to bring you this list of the best whiskey stones.
Best Stainless Steel: Rabbit Whiskey and Beverage Jumbo Chilling Stones
Rabbit is a trusted name when it comes to quality beverage accessories, and these jumbo stainless steel chilling cubes are no exception. This set comes with two 1.5-inch cubes, though only one is needed to cool down your drink in seconds.
It also comes complete with a storage case, which is perfect for safekeeping in the freezer. These durable cubes, which are ideal for use in a rocks glass, are also odor-resistant and dishwasher safe. Custom engraving is also available.
Most Unique: Areaware Geometric Whiskey Stones
If you’re searching for an avant-garde gift or a statement piece, look no further than these geometric whiskey stones by Areaware, a Brooklyn-based producer and purveyor of unusual objects. This set features stones in four different silhouettes, including a pyramid, rectangle, sphere, and cylinder all in varying neutral shades.
Made from either soapstone or marble, these stones measure approximately 2.75 inches long, 1 inch wide and 2.27 inches high. They are handwash-only.
Good to Know: When using whiskey stones in any drink, says Washington, D.C. bartender Ben Wald, add a bit of experimentation to the mix to see how temperature affects the wine or spirit. Also, make sure your stones aren’t imparting any unwanted flavor. “Do yourself a little taste test to see what [it] tastes like normally and with regular ice so you can pick up any variances the stone may cause,” Wald suggests.
Best Value: Brotec Round Granite Whiskey Stones
Brotec's set of six disc-like whiskey chilling stones are made of granite and come with their own wooden display tray, plus two coasters. You can keep the entire tray in the freezer for storage.
Treat these stones like you would any other, and use three or so in your drink of choice after freezing them for at least several hours. Rinse after each use, air dry, and return them to your freezer. This set also makes for a great gift for the spirit or chilled wine enthusiast in your life.
Related: The Best Ice Cube Trays
Best Small: Kollea Stainless Steel Reusable Chilling Whiskey Stones
If small and simple is the game, then Kollea is where you want to look. Deemed the first whiskey stone set on the market, this budget-friendly, easy-to-find set comes with eight stainless steel cubes, non-slip tongs and a convenient box.
Kollea notes that its stones are dishwasher safe and perfect for a variety of drinks, including whiskey, vodka, white wine and beyond. The company also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, as well as a two-year warranty.
Best Splurge: Eliská Whisky Cubes
For those searching for stones that are the cream of the crop (and those for whom the price tag is no issue), these smoky quartz stones by Eliská are the best in the game. Produced at the RabLabs design studio, these hand-sculpted cubes are some of the most gorgeous options for keeping your drinks cool.
The stones are handmade in Brazil from locally sourced smoky quartz, which are marked by gorgeous wisps of color that radiate through the crystal. Chill for four hours in the freezer prior to use, add the jewels to your glass, and get ready for a touch of simple luxury.
Related: The Best Whiskey Glasses
Best for Gifting: Uncommon Goods On the Rocks Set
For the whiskey drinker who wants to shake up their drinking experience, look no further than On the Rocks, a set of whiskey stones from Uncommon Goods. These beautiful stones are crafted from hand-collected stones from New England beaches in conjunction with recycled materials. “Serve your drinks on actual rocks with these handsome granite drink chillers," founders Arra David and Anne Johnson say.
The disks are crafted with a 1.5-inch diameter and come in a beautiful wooden tray, equipped with two sleek tumblers. Note: Due to the product’s recycled and handmade nature, each stone will be uniquely different.
Related: The Best Gifts for Whiskey Lovers
For an affordable and accessible option, the longstanding Kollea brand offers a budget-friendly solution (view at Amazon); Brotec's granite stone set is another value pick that functions both as a great table display piece and a pretty way to chill your wine (view at Amazon). For the whiskey lovers in your life, Uncommon Goods’ set provides the most all-encompassing gift pack (view on the site).
How do you clean whiskey stones?
Whiskey stones are some of the easiest products to clean. Simply wash them with warm water and dish soap to kill bacteria and buildup, then hand-dry with a soft cloth. Note that certain materials (e.g., quartz) are naturally occurring materials, and their colors or patterns may therefore be affected by the use of certain soaps.
Can you use whiskey stones in other drinks?
Yes! Whiskey stones may be used to chill down any other beverage that is best enjoyed cold and not diluted. Use them in lemonades, juices and sodas the same way that you’d use them in whiskey. Whiskey stones can also be used to keep your favorite hot beverages (such as tea and coffee) warm. Simply microwave the stones for approximately one minute, then carefully place in your hot beverage of choice.
How many whiskey stones should go into a glass?
The amount of whiskey stones that you should use is dependent on the size and/or pour of the drink, as well as the size of the stone. Generally speaking, using larger cubes will only require one stone per glass, though using smaller stones in larger pours will demand between one and three stones.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
After seven years of covering all things wine and spirits, Céline Bossart has had plenty of conversations about chilling and dilution methods. Though whiskey stones tend to be pigeonholed as a default Father’s Day gift, she can confirm that they work just as well in any other time of year.