The Best Way to Chill Your Drinks: Crushed? Cubed? Whiskey Stones?

If you’re looking for the best way to chill your drinks, check out these fun and quirky new ways.
1- Crushed: Whisky Stones are crushed ice cubes that have been soaked in a flavored water solution of your choice. Choose from whiskey stones infused with Irish Cream or Sweet & Sour Drinks by adding them into either vodka or rum cocktails before chilling in an ice bucket.2- Cubed: These chilled cubes use cold tap water as their cooling agent which allows them to maintain cool temperatures during transport without diluting the drink’s flavor too much3- Whiskey Stone

Whiskey stones are a new product that you can use to chill your drinks. They are made of crushed ice and whiskey, so they will keep your drink cool for hours. Read more in detail here: what are whiskey stones.

Two men drinking cocktails on patio illustration.

The scorching heat of summer frequently makes you want a cool, refreshing beverage. Most individuals, whether they’re drinking whiskey or soda, want to relax first. But how do you go about doing it? Ice is undoubtedly the most frequent approach, but what sort of ice is best? Crushed? Cubed? Many whiskey lovers prefer not to dilute their drink with ice, preferring instead to chill down their spirit using whiskey stones (usually made of soapstone).

Although it may seem to be a simple option, the size of the cube has a significant impact on the temperature and how long the drink will remain cold. So, one of these approaches is the most effective? What size ice cubes should you use? We’ve already done the homework for you, so you don’t have to. The findings of my experiment are below – keep calm and read on.


A thermometer placed in whiskey glass and measuring temperature.

For this experiment, I utilized whiskey (specifically, Russell’s Reserve 10-Year Bourbon). Whiskey is kept at room temperature, and although some do not cool it, the majority do. While I tried Coke (only ice, not the stones/balls) for this post, the results were quite comparable. This knowledge is still useful if you’re drinking Virgil’s Root Beer.

I took the initial temperature, which was 70 degrees — room temperature in this instance. Then, over the next two hours, I utilized five different cooling techniques, monitoring the immediate temperature and then every half hour for two hours.

Different collections of whisky balls.

The stainless whiskey balls, ice ball, and whiskey stones

I utilized the following cooling techniques:

  • Stones made of whisky (made of soapstone)
  • Whiskey balls (a whiskey “stone” made of stainless steel)
  • Ball of ice (just a single giant ice cube)
  • Cubes of ice (from a standard refrigerator ice maker or ice tray)
  • ice that has been crushed

I reasoned that the larger a cube’s surface area, the quicker it would chill the drink, but also the faster it would melt. Let’s check whether the evidence supports this hypothesis.

Stones of Whiskey

Whiskey stones in glass.

Teroforma, a firm, was the first to design the whiskey stone in the mid-2000s. Whiskey stones immediately became popular among whiskey connoisseurs who wished to cool their drink without diluting it, and other firms have subsequently duplicated them. The aim is to keep the stones frozen and then toss a couple into your drink when you’re ready to drink. However, before to doing this experiment, I had tried whiskey stones and found them to be ineffective. Were my intuitions correct? Let’s look at the figures (all temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit):

  • 70°F as a starting point
  • After adding the stones, the time was 62 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, the score is 65.
  • 60 minutes: 66 minutes
  • 66 minutes in 90 minutes
  • 67 minutes in 120 minutes

As a result, the whiskey stones chilled the drink without diluting it. It wasn’t by much; it wasn’t until I realized the temperature was 8 degrees lower that I realized anything had changed. It’s possible it was simply my imagination, but I’m sure a seasoned expert would detect a difference. You can see that it was practically back to room temperature after two hours, which is consistent with what most whiskey stone producers state.


The second disadvantage is that high-proof whiskies are still difficult to manage without diluting. For example, Stranahan’s Whiskey (a local favorite of mine) is purposefully created strong so that customers may dilute it to their liking. Even Jess Graber, the company’s creator, dilutes his whiskey (usually with ice).

Final Verdict: I wasn’t a great fan of whiskey stones before the trial, and although they perform better than I anticipated, I’m still not a fan and won’t be using them very often.

Balls of Whiskey

Whiskey balls in glass.

Balls of Steel produces a stainless steel whiskey chiller, which is unlike the traditional soapstone whiskey stone. They use an unique cooling process and are lighter than whiskey stones, which is one of its selling features. They’re stored in the freezer until required, then popped into your drink like stones. The warning says you should remove the balls before drinking, but because it’s a sipping beverage, you’re unlikely to ingest them, and having to fish them out is a little unpleasant. Is steel superior than soapstone in terms of performance?

  • 70°F as a starting point
  • 60 seconds after balls are added:
  • 60 minutes after 30 minutes
  • 60 minutes: 64 minutes
  • 65 minutes: 90 minutes
  • 65 minutes in 120 minutes

The Balls of Steel, as you can see, originally chilled the liquid a bit faster than the stones. It also maintained its low temperature for a longer period of time, but just for the first hour or so. However, that’s usually enough to finish a glass or two, so it’s not a big deal.

Steel balls are the finest option if you want a non-diluting whiskey cooling product. They cool a bit faster and for a longer period of time than soapstone. In addition, 15 percent of the company’s revenues are donated to testicular cancer awareness and research.

Ice that has been crushed

Crushed ice in whiskey glass.

Crushed ice was one of my favorite treats as a youngster for some reason. Probably because I could eat it faster than conventional ice cubes (who doesn’t like a little ice from time to time?). Crushed ice is still used in whiskey and cocktail drinks in select pubs (if not actually crushed, then just smaller cubes). How did the smaller cubes do in my scientific evaluation?

  • 70°F as a starting point
  • 38 seconds after crushed ice was added:
  • 30 minutes later: 44
  • 60 minutes: 46 minutes (almost melted)
  • 49 minutes in 90 minutes (totally melted)
  • 55 minutes out of 120

You can see how it swiftly reduced the temperature of the beverage to begin with, but then soon surged back up. It certainly melts quicker than bigger ice cubes (including part of it almost immediately when putting in the beverage), thus the drink will last less time, unless you want very watery beverages.

Final Verdict: If you’re going to finish your drink in under 20 minutes, crushed ice is acceptable (not wonderful — just OK). After that, it’s simply too watery to drink, even if it’s properly cold.

Typical Ice Cubes

Standard ice cubes in whiskey glass.


Most people cool their beverages using regular-sized ice cubes, whether it’s whiskey or soda. It’s the stuff that comes out of ice trays and most refrigerators with an ice machine. It’s also what you’ll find at most pubs and restaurants. Although it is the most popular, is it the most effective?

  • 70°F as a starting point
  • 35 minutes after ice cubes were added:
  • 30 minutes later: 36
  • 60 minutes: 38 minutes
  • 43 minutes in 90 minutes (almost melted)
  • 52 minutes in 120 minutes (almost melted)

As you can see, regular ice cubes chilled the liquid somewhat better than crushed ice. It also lasted far longer, requiring an hour and a half to reach a temperature that broken ice only took 30 minutes to attain.

Final Thoughts: A regular ice cube can’t go wrong. It’s what’s most readily accessible and most likely to be utilized often. I noted that it became watery at the 90-minute mark, so you’ll have plenty of time to complete your beverage. I nearly always like a couple of regular ice cubes in my whiskey since it cools the drink just enough while also providing just enough water for dilution. It also provides you a lot more control over the final output. Start with one or two ice cubes; if it’s not cold enough or the flavor is too intense, add a few more. Always start with too little ice; it’s much simpler to add more than it is to remove it (but it is feasible if it isn’t completely melted!).

Ice Ball

Whiskey glass with ice ball.

The ice ball, oh, the wonderful ice ball. It’s the new kid on the block, and you’ll see it in fashionable cocktail bars all the time. Molds for home usage are also becoming increasingly common at supermarket and liquor establishments. Aside from their elegant appearance, they have a smaller surface area, so they should melt slower and chill the drink faster. Isn’t it a win-win situation? Let’s have a look.

  • 70°F as a starting point
  • 35 minutes after the ice ball was added:
  • 30 minutes later: 32
  • 60 minutes: 35 minutes
  • 38 minutes in 90 minutes (almost melted)
  • 49 minutes in 120 minutes (totally melted)

The ice ball chilled as quickly as regular ice cubes, but it kept its cold the longest (even getting cooler, at first). Surprisingly, it melted much faster than regular ice cubes. It also has a lot of volume, resulting in a highly watery beverage when completely melted. Another disadvantage is that they are inconvenient to prepare. I use Tovolo molds, which take up a lot of freezer space. I only have two molds, which means I can only serve two beverages at a time with the ice balls. There are trays that may be used to generate huge cubes that are identical to spheres in terms of form and surface area.

Final Verdict: Definitely has the greatest chilling impact. It also has a nice presentation, since it appears cooler than regular cubes if you’re pouring whiskey (or even just soda).



The crushed ice melted faster than the cubes and the ball, as expected, due to its larger surface area, however, contrary to my theory, the cubed ice lasted longer than the ball. The ice ball with the smallest surface area really chilled the drink the most (because to its larger volume), but the temperature variations between the cubes were minor. Maybe you physicists out there can examine and explain my findings (I’m just a regular whiskey drinker). The whiskey stones and balls are an interesting concept, but they aren’t particularly effective.

As a result, I still prefer conventional cubes for pure enjoyment: you have greater control over dilution, the cooling isn’t noticeably different from other alternatives, and it’s more handy in virtually any case. Let’s raise a drink to the iconic cube’s modest beginnings!

What’s your favorite way to keep your beverages cool?



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