How to make smoked ice

Smoky ice makes it nice

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Add a little kick to your cocktails with smoked ice. You heard us right. Smoked ice!

Smoking ice takes several hours, but it's easy and takes only a few simple ingredients. You won't believe how it's done!

How to make smoked ice

Supplies: 

  • Water
  • 1 (1 gallon) empty milk carton (cleaned well)
  • Wood chips (any flavor or a combination)
  • Perforated pan
  • Unperforated pan
  • Smoker
  • Spouted pitcher
  • Ice cube trays

Directions:

  1. Fill the clean milk carton with water and allow it to freeze completely. When it's frozen, remove it from the freezer and carefully cut the plastic away (it's OK if you nick the ice a bit). It's important that you use a large block, rather than several small cubes. The larger ice will take longer to melt and become smoke-infused, whereas the smaller cubes will melt immediately and won't absorb much (if any) flavor.
  2. Place the perforated pan inside the unperforated pan. Then set the block of ice on top of the perforated pan and set both pans into the smoker.
  3. Turn the smoker on and add your wood chips. Keep the smoke "cold" by limiting the amount of air that flows in.
  4. Allow the ice to melt. It takes between 3 and 4 hours.
  5. When the ice has completely melted, you'll be left with smoke-infused water. If desired, put a few drops of food coloring into the water so you can tell it from the regular ice you have in your freezer. Allow it to cool.
  6. Pour the water into a spouted pitcher and pour it into your ice cube trays. Let the ice cubes freeze completely.

Tip: When you use flavored ice, your drink flavor will slowly change as you drink it. In this case, it will begin tasting mostly like a regular cocktail, but will grow smokier as you drink. The longer you take to drink, the smokier the flavor will be.

When your smoked ice is frozen, use it in a variety of drinks. It's great in scotch and soda, lemon- and other fruit-flavored cocktails and bloody marys. But use your imagination.

Try these cocktails with smoked ice

Bloody maria recipe
3 Spicy skinny cocktails
3 Music-themed cocktails for Lollapalooza

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.