How Long Does Sherry Last?
The Cocktail Bloggers' Convention

Freezing Objects in Ice

As you know I've been making clear ice at home. I've got a lot more experimenting to do, but for now I thought I'd try freezing a bottle inside a block.

Corner bottle in clear ice 3_tn

I started with a mini bottle of Chambord, since it's the flashiest one I own. I tied a piece of fishing line around the neck of the bottle and suspended it in my ice-making cooler. I tied the top around a ruler to hold it above the cooler.

In cooler_tn

Happily it stayed in place while freezing. I popped out the block.

Big block1_tn

This block was cloudier than usual. I'm not sure if that's because of the object in the ice or not.

Close big2_tn

It looks a little better close up, so I cut the ice closer to the bottle.


Super closeup bottle in clear ice2_tn

It's not perfect, but it would make a great chunk of ice for a punch bowl.

Bottle in clear ice 81_tn
An index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics can be found here.


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Now you have freakin`outdone yourself a conversation piece for a party..

Gin & Bear It

A punch bowl? I don't understand the point of this experiment.

Camper English


these adventures in ice have been highly entertaining...really can't wait to see what the next trick up your sleeve is...

Gin & Bear It

Thanks, makes complete sense. Do you think the block could be bored or drilled, without splitting, to hold bottles?

Colin Gore

I've been following your icecapades for a while now, and I was hoping you'd get around to freezing garnishes into your clear cubes. I've played a bit with these in regular trays, but positioning was always a problem. I solved this by letting the cubes partially freeze, sucking out the liquid centers with a syringe, then placing the garnish and refilling with near freezing water (or other flavored or colored liquid). This is a bit labor intensive, but gave some stunning results.

Do you have a plan for how to control the position of, say, a sprig of thyme or rosemary in the ice hunks? Fishing line is out, since you certainly don't want to have plastic filament floating in peoples' drinks.


I can't tell if you're insane or GENIUS!

Camper English

I have much work to do! I am going to attempt the core method as you describe, but then the ice wont be clear. The fishing line can actually pull right out of the ice if you thread it through, rather than tie it to, the object. I did this with the lemon peel letters I did a while back- fishing line pulled right out. I am pretty sure this could work with herbs- just poke a hole through with the line then pull it out afterwards.

But your method of letting ice partially freeze then cutting out the center gives me an idea: why not do that, then put the object in the center, then freeze it upside-down on a small bit of water so that the side closes but it remains a hole in the center of the ice with the object?

Camper English

I am not sure but drilling ice is definitely something I am going to try when I get time.

The shorter way would be to use a regular container to hold ice (not insulated) and let it partially freeze, then poke a hole in one side, drain out the water, and fill it with whatever.


You should try freezing hot water, it generally reduces the cloudyness

Colin Gore

Ah, brilliant! There's an aphorism about two heads and their relative relationship to one that seems quite appropritate right now. I'll put this method on my to-do list, but it might be a few days. I'll keep you in the loop. Unfortunately I have been bad at documenting so I don't have any pictures of my previous trials, but I will make a point to amend my bad habits.



Don't try too hard, Anne:
Many of the latter are also the former...

Either way, this is pretty cool stuff!


Thanks for doing the leg work here. I used your cooler technique to make a pretty nice piece for a punch bowl. Mandarin oranges were submerged using a couple blocks of frozen spinach over plastic wrap. Here's a link to photos of the results. You can see a little cloudiness around the oranges but without vibration or a pump I think this is about as good as it gets. Next time I'm thinking of partially submerged items protruding out of the top of the block e.g. liquor bottles, herbs, fruit, a punch bowl etc. Thanks again!

Camper English

That looks great!


Camper, have you reviewed the Polar Ice Tray product? It seems to incorporate many of the ideas from this great discussion. I'd like to see a review and your thoughts.

Camper English

Rob - yes I did write this up.

I've heard mixed results about it. Seems like it's okay but has its flaws.


Thanks sooooo much for writing this. I have been trying for the last 5 days to get clear ice and always came up with the cloud in the middle. I am a fairly accomplished cook and couldn't understand why I couldn't make clear ice. thanks for the science lesson it was great! can't wait to try it out. I'm ging to see if I can put a laminated picture in the middle of the block.

Camper English

Thanks Daniella. I don't know if it is emphasized enough on this particular post, but the important thing is the insulated container (cooler).


i have also searched for a clearer ice fixture. I came upon a website that said to use distilled water for clear frozen sculptures.

jake, dublin

fun fun fun.... personally, I stick with 'Lemon Mint icecubes (icecubes frozen in 3 stages, firstly plain water, then a wet mint leaf, then water/lemon juice mix to complete the cubes....

work like a charm in some cocktails (stinger, mohito,caruso) when using cubes instead of crushed ice....

Give it a try !!

-Jake, dublin


So I have tried the cooler method a number of times with great success. I couldn't find the square containers you used, but I found some square 2 inch pvc pipe online that works great.

I have been trying to freeze a lemon slice in a cube using the cooler method, but my results haven't been very good. I suspend the lemon slice with fishing line like you did above inside a cooler, but the ice surrounding the lemon is very cloudy. I am trying to recreate the picture seen here
but i am just not sure it is possible to get ice that clear around something like a lemon slice. Any suggestions?

Camper English

Hmm, well you need to suspend the lemon slice near the top of the cooler with room for water to move around it so hopefully the cloudy stuff moves out of the way. It's also possible that the water in the lemon is interfering (just a guess). Maybe test it with something not filled with liquid? I had success here with lemon peels:

Also when freezing things in ice it's even more important to not jostle the cooler while it is freezing.

That's all I can think of for now. Good luck!


Wow, the ice with the lemon peels looks awesome! I will have to try that. Thanks

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