(nearly) clear ice cubes

(nearly) clear ice cubes
My quest for clear ice cubes stemmed from our need to photograph cocktails. We wanted our drinks to look clean and crisp, but our ice cubes made them out to be cloudy. So, Carm asked me to run some trials, and even set me up with a sweet excel sheet to track the progress. Research took a surprisingly long time! Apparently, people don't like to mess around in the ice making game; some even got a little heated debating various processes. Eventually, though, I ran across ice jesus himself on vimeo; his tutorial was succinct, detailed, and definitely "clear." I even discovered that he had a website dedicated to the craft, and liked him even more! But, then I found out he insist on people addressing him as "ice king," and thought he was a little weird. Either way, I do have to say that he totally delivered! We ended up with some pretty clear ice cubes and our photos now look tons better!

Some people say this is a lot of trouble to go through for some simple ice, but I totally think it's worth it. It tastes clean and looks cleaner. Plus, Ian says that clear ice is the only way to drink with class, and I agree wholeheartedly. So, don't embarrass yourself at your next dinner party, serve up some clear ice.
Boil your water first! This gets rid of any air bubbles and impurities that may be lurking in the tap. "Ice King Ian" (see source) doesn't believe in this, but we're going to be naysayers here and say that it does help. If you don't do this, just make sure your water is relatively clean. No swamp water please!
Pour water into your desired ice tray. Preferably, use a mold with large cube portion (ours is probably around 2" x 2" fyi). This is because during the freezing process, all the sediment and air bubbles will settle at the bottom of the cube; thus making it appear "cloudy." This will happen on all sizes of ice cubes, but it's simply less noticeable on the larger ones.
Then, you need to place your full tray in an insulated container, ideally, a small cooler. However, you can really use anything you have in the kitchen, as long as it is large enough to fit the tray's base and is taller than its height.
Then, pour in water into your container, NOT into the ice tray. The water should surround its sides like a bath, but don't let the water level get higher than the tray itself. Preferably, use warm water, especially if your container is non-insulating. Then, pop it in the freezer!
When you take it out the ice should be clear, except for the very bottom of it. You see, by insulating the sides and exposing the top, the water freezes slowly in layers starting from the top. All that cloudiness is pushed downward and concentrates at the bottom of the cube. So, a portion of your ice will be cloudy, but at least the rest ill be clear!
Pop it in a drink, snap a photo, show it off to your friends, whatever you want to do with it!
source: Ian