Summer is here, and that calls for long lazy afternoons in the sun, sipping on yummy drinks. But don’t you just hate it when you are sipping on a delicious ice-cold lemonade, but the ice starts to melt speedily? You either gulp down your drink or continue to sip on a tepid, diluted, watery version of the lemonade. Reusable ice cubes are the answer! But what are reusable ice cubes?
Also known as chilling cubes, reusable ice cubes are little blocks that can be cooled down to freezing temperatures. Once added to a glass, they chill the drink. Unlike regular ice cubes, reusable ice cubes do not melt, so your drink will not become watery and diluted.
There are different types of reusable ice cube, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. If you are keen to buy some reusable ice cubes but are not sure which type to get, read on.
What Materials Can Reusable Ice Cubes Be Made From?
The most significant advantage of ditching regular ice blocks for reusable ones is that your beverage won’t end up being a diluted, watered-down version of its former, packed-with-flavor self. There are different types of reusable ice cubes, each with its unique features.
Stone Ice Cubes
Stone ice cubes are often called whiskey stones or whiskey rocks. As the name suggests, they are often used to chill whiskey and bourbon. They are made out of marble or soapstone and are available in various colors.
The marble is polished to such intensity that it does not absorb liquid. This is necessary to prevent mold or bacteria from forming on the stone cubes.
Stone ice cubes need to sit in the freezer for a minimum of three hours to get cold enough to chill your drink adequately. Don’t expect stone cubes to turn drinks at temperature to ice-cold. It is best to add them to drinks that are already chilled so that the drink remains cold.
From an aesthetic point of view, these stone cubes make quite the statement in a glass.
Plastic Ice Cubes
These come in so many colors and various shapes and are sure to add a punch of fun to your beverage.
Plastic ice cubes contain either distilled water or silica gel. Like traditional ice cubes, the distilled water or silica gel does melt over time but will not dilute your drink since they are contained in the plastic casing.
Plastic cubes containing distilled water will take the same time to freeze as regular cubes, which is about two to three hours. Plastic ice cubes containing silica-gel freeze quicker than water.
Since the plastic casing is fairly thin, they do not keep drinks cold for as long as ice cubes made from stone or stainless steel.
When choosing plastic ice cubes, ensure that they are BPA-free. If possible, avoid using plastic cubes that contain silica gel. This is because if the casing is damaged and the silica-gel leaks into your drink and is ingested, it can be harmful.
Furthermore, in a world where we are trying to use less plastic and even go plastic free, it is a more environmentally friendly choice to choose a stone or stainless steel ice cube.
Since metal ice cubes like ones made from steel are highly conductive, when frozen, they work excellently for cooling down a drink. And because they get so cold, they tend to be smaller than other reusable ice cubes, leaving more space in the glass for your drink.
Out of all reusable ice cube materials, the stainless-steel variety reaches the freezing point the quickest. They will be ready to be added to your beverage after just two hours of sitting in the freezer. They will also keep your drink cool for longer than other materials.
Stainless steel ice cubes have an ultra-modern and sophisticated look. However, they can be heavy, especially if they are larger. To avoid making your cocktail too heavy, choose smaller stainless steel ice cubes.
How Do You Use Reusable Ice Cubes?
Reusable ice cubes are simple to use. Pop them in the freezer. When you need to chill your drink, add them to the glass. Once you have finished your drink, wash the ice cubes and then place them back in the freezer again.
Depending on the material, some reusable ice cubes can be placed in the dishwasher to be cleaned.
How long do reusable ice blocks last?
The life of reusable ice blocks depends on the material they are made from, how often they are used and how well they are taken care of. Stone or Stainless steel ice blocks could last years but If used frequently plastic blocks may only last a few months.
To properly care for your reusable ice blocks, so that they last as long as possible make sure you store them in a cool or dry place ideally in the freezer or fridge so they are ready for that urgent drink!
Don’t put plastic blocks in direct sunlight and make sure to rinse them off with clean water after each use. Allow stone and plastic blocks especially to air dry completely before storing them outside the freezer.
Are reusable ice cubes safe?
As long as you buy quality stainless steel or stone reusable ice cubes you should be very safe using them in drinks etc.
Always check the materials used before using them and make sure there are no harmful additives. Cheap stone blocks may be prone to bits crumbling off them so always go for quality polished marble.
If you use plastic reusable ice blocks make sure they are made of silicone or are made of BPA-free plastic.
Are Reusable Ice Cubes Eco-Friendly?
We all need to reduce our water consumption. Having said that, using reusable ice cubes instead of regular cubes will not make a huge difference in the amount of water you use. But every bit helps. As mentioned above if you want the eco-friendly option avoid plastic ice cubes.
Which Reusable Ice Cubes Are the Best?
Plastic ice cubes come in so many different shapes and colors. They are perfect for themed or kids’ parties. They are also cheaper than other materials. However, plastic is not good for the environment, and silica-gel-filled ice cubes can be hazardous if damaged. Plastic ice cubes also won’t keep your drink cold for as long as other materials.
Stone cubes are perfect if you are a connoisseur of whiskey or bourbon. The stone material won’t alter the taste of the alcohol in any way, and it will chill the drink gently.
The stainless-steel variety is considered the best reusable ice cubes because they are so efficient at cooling down a beverage and keeping the drink cool for a more extended period than other materials.
What’s more, stainless steel is a food-grade material, so they are safest to use and won’t alter the taste of your drink. There is also no danger of stainless-steel ice cubes getting damaged and then contaminating your drink. Stainless steel ice cubes can be cleaned in the dishwasher. On the downside, stainless steel ice cubes are the most expensive type of reusable ice cubes.
What are the benefits of reusable ice cubes?
The benefits of reusable ice cubes include:
1. Eco-friendly – Reusable ice cubes are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable ice cubes.
2. Economical – Reusable ice cubes are a more economical option than disposable ice cubes.
3. Convenient – Reusable ice cubes are convenient and easy to use.
4. Versatile – Reusable ice cubes can be used in a variety of drinks, including soda, water, and cocktails.
5. Durable – Reusable ice cubes are durable and long-lasting.
6. Safe – Reusable ice cubes are safe to use and are made from food-grade materials.
7. Easy to clean – Reusable ice cubes are easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher.
8. Stylish – Reusable ice cubes come in a variety of styles and colors to suit your needs.
9. Perfect for parties – Reusable ice cubes are perfect for parties and gatherings.
10. Keeps drinks cold – Reusable ice cubes help keep your drink cold for a longer period of time.
Summer is a great time to invest in reusable ice cubes. They will be great to use at your next BBQ or when you are entertaining, as they are sure to make your drinks look snazzier. They will also prevent drinks from getting watery and losing flavor.
But you don’t have to wait for a special occasion. Add them to your glass every day, and enjoy!