September 22, 2023

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A bartender and a science expert explain how to make new ice cubes for your drinks in no time: “Choose the smallest ice cubes possible” |  Martin Peters

A bartender and a science expert explain how to make new ice cubes for your drinks in no time: “Choose the smallest ice cubes possible” | Martin Peters

On hot days, we crave ice cubes in our rose or our cocktail, but what if you forgot to make ice cubes: how to make them ready quickly? And what kind of ice cubes do you use with any drink? Science expert Martijn Peters and bartender Bram Van Geert explain the best way to make it and which cocktail to serve with any type of ice cube. “With a plastic ice cube tray, the water will freeze more slowly.”

You may have experienced it before. You get crowds on a very hot day, but you forgot to make ice cubes. Annoying, but how do you conjure up an ice cube ASAP? “As you know, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius or less,” says HLN science expert. Martin Peters. “During this process, the water molecules begin to form ice crystals with their neighbors. The end result is delicious ice cubes.”

This is how you make ice cubes quickly

The time it takes to get ice cubes out depends on several factors, such as the temperature of the water and the freezer. “However, there are some scientific tricks that can help convert water from a liquid to a solid,” Martin says. “The first tip when making ice cubes is to use metal holders. Better heating, so the water will cool faster, which results in it being less smooth with plastic wrap.”


Metal containers work best for making ice cubes quickly because the fabric conducts heat better, allowing the water to cool faster.

Martin Peters

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The second tip is to choose the smallest ice cubes possible. “The ratio between surface area and volume is greater compared to larger ice blocks, which translates to a faster freezing process. Larger ice cubes will take longer for the cold to fully penetrate the center. The advantage with larger ice blocks is that this also works in reverse. You will live longer in glass. your ice cubes, while the little ice cubes melt faster.”

You can also shorten the time by temporarily setting the freezer to the lowest possible temperature and cooling the water in the refrigerator beforehand. “As a result, fewer degrees must be bridged to drop to freezing,” Peters continues. Finally, there is also the so-called Mpemba effect. Hot water freezes faster than ice water. However, scientists still have no explanation for why this sometimes happens and what the circumstances are.” So it is difficult to imitate it at home.

You can make ice cubes by pouring water into an ice cube tray and freezing it. This is faster when the holder is made of metal. © Shutterstock

With which drink do you use ice cubes?

As the ideal host or hostess, you also want to use the right kind of ice cubes. “The larger the ice cube, the slower it will melt,” confirms the “First Dates” bartender. Bram van Geert From Antwerp quotes. “Big ice cubes are very suitable for strong cocktails like Negroni or old fashioned. Those are the cocktails we drink more slowly, because we like them slowly”sipSmall ice cubes are more accessible and will make you drink more quickly. As a result, the drink doesn’t have a chance to dilute. So small ice cubes are perfect for cocktails like a mojito. Finally, you also have crushed ice Or crushed ice cubes. They are often used to prepare sweeter, thirst-quenching cocktails.


Large ice cubes are suitable for strong cocktails such as Negroni or Old Fashioned, because we drink them more slowly and “drink” them more slowly.

Bram van Gert, bartender at First Dates

“The number of ice cubes you need to use depends on the type of cocktail,” Bram continues. “We usually fill the entire glass with cocktails. This limits the dilution process. Try the test yourself at home: pour three ice cubes into one glass and fill the other glass completely with ice cubes. You will soon see which one melts the fastest.”

Finally, you also have cocktails served without ice. This way you ensure that it cannot be diluted and that the taste remains stable. In this case, it is important that the glass is cooled and the cocktail served cold. ”

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