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The main difference between your homely ice cubes and the ones served at a fancy restaurant or bar is clarity. Theirs are damn near translucent and sparkling; yours are cloudy and white. Aesthetics aside, cloudy ice melts faster than its clearer counterparts, leaving you with watered-down drinks. Here, three ways to get crystal-like cubes at home.
- Upgrade your water. More specifically--get a filter or use bottled water for your cubes. This way you start off with less air and minerals.
- Boil it twice. Bringing your water to a boil removes air bubbles and allows the molecules to bind tightly when frozen. (Fact: The harder the ice, the longer it takes to melt.) Just make sure to let the water cool before boiling it a second time.
- Pour and cover. Let the freshly boiled water cool down before pouring it into your ice tray. Once you've poured (evenly, of course, so they're uniform in size), cover the tray with plastic wrap to keep out any particles.
Really trying to impress your guests? Try adding flowers or fruit to the water before freezing. They will bloom or lightly flavor your drinks as they melt.