Forget Giant Ice Cubes—Tiny Ice Cubes Are Where It’s at This Year
If home mixology was a thing before, pandemic lockdown has made bartenders of us all. Whether we are creating fabulous fancy boozy cocktails, doing a deep dive into non-alcoholic tipples and mocktails, or cooking up flavorings and syrups for homemade sodas, when you are home all day with no office fridge or school vending machine, suddenly beverages become an all-day adventure.
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And while the past few years have seen a huge increase in the home creation of giant artisanal ice cubes first made popular in hipster craft cocktail bars, even becoming so mainstream that LG has released a home fridge that makes them in the freezer icemaker, I am here to tell you that bigger is not always better.
Consider the tiny ice cube.
Why a tiny ice cube?
Here’s why I love a little ice cube. They cool things super-fast, are eminently chewable, and do not come careening madly at your nose when you are taking those last few sips out of a glass. They also make the most soothing sloshy noise when you swirl your cup. Time to add them to your freezer's go-to supply? I think so!
Tiny ice cube trays
Trays for making tiny ice cubes are easy to find and very inexpensive. Some make perfect square cubes, some are rounded, like gumdrop shapes, and some are even miniature spheres. Some trays are hard plastic, and some silicone, but most are dishwasher safe. And you can, as with any ice cube, freeze things like coffee and tea so that you don’t dilute when you chill your beverages, or make lemon or lime ice cubes to enhance your drinks. And if you use bottled or filtered water, your teeny cubes will be super clear and melt slower.
Best tiny ice cube trays to buy (and one splurge!)
Tinana Mini Ice Cube Trays
My favorite is this version that makes perfect little spheres. They look fantastic in your glass and are slow melting to boot. The soft silicone mold makes them really easy to pop out; you just press from below. Tinana also makes a square version if you prefer, or they sell a two-pack with one of each.
Buy it: Tinana Mini Ice Cube Trays ($13.99), amazon.com
Arrow Home 60 Cube Ice Tray
I like this three-pack of rounded-bottom ice cubes, which makes a nice solid ice that is still on the small side. Not the tiniest of the options but that might be just your taste. Finally, I like the hard plastic tray, which can be rapped firmly to release the cubes.
Buy it: Arrow Home 60 Cube Ice Tray ($10.98), amazon.com
Silicone Mini Ice Cube Trays
For perfect little square cubes, you can’t go wrong with this three-pack of silicone molds. Each tray makes 160 Lilliputian ice cubes, and the flexible silicone makes removing them easy.
Buy it: Silicone Mini Ice Cube Trays ($10.98), amazon.com
SPLURGE: GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
The nugget ice maker of my dreams is this one, and if you have the means and don’t want to be endlessly filling little trays to make your miniature ice cubes, then invest in taking your beverage game next level!
Buy it: GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker ($465.99, list $549), amazon.com