What are Whiskey Stones, and Are They Worth It?
Are you among the whiskey lovers who prefer their drinks chilled? Then, you certainly know what whiskey stones are. If not, whiskey stones are small cubes of clean-cut natural soap stones used to chill Whiskey and other spirits without diluting the taste of the drink. The main idea behind a whiskey stone is to chill your drink without adding water, which can dilute your Whiskey’s original flavor. The science behind whiskey stones is that they chill the drink by transferring the heat from the drink to the stones. Here, we will discuss more whiskey stones and help you determine if they are worth it.
What are Whiskey Stones?
Whiskey stones, also known as whiskey rocks, have been around for over a decade, but they have become very popular among whiskey lovers and bourbon drinkers. Whiskey stones are standard-shaped ice cubes made of cut natural nonporous soapstone. It is believed that the soapstone does not affect your beverage’s overall aroma and taste. These stones are also available in several sizes, designed to be stored in the freezer for about four hours before you add them to your straight shots of bourbon, scotch, or Whiskey. The best whiskey stones for keeping your drinks perfectly chilled and have no risk of diluting your drink are stainless steel. These whiskey stones made of stainless steel usually have a special gel inside them that allows even freezing, allowing your drink to remain colder for an extended period compared to the traditional whiskey stones. However, some whiskey drinkers prefer using regular whiskey soapstone rocks compared to the ones made of stainless steel.
How do whiskey stones work?
Whiskey rocks are strategically designed to gradually cool your drink without affecting the overall flavor and taste or causing your drink to chill at a faster rate. For example, three whiskey stone cubes will gently chill your drink to under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This significantly lowers the harmful side effects of quick chilling while slightly diluting the original taste of your Whiskey. The thermodynamics behind using whiskey stones to cool your drink is that; heat is transferred from the comparatively warmer areas to the colder locations to balance the temperature imbalances in the two locations. The ethanol molecules in your Whiskey then respond to this gained heat, and as a result, your drink becomes chilled.
Whiskey Stone Materials
The following are some of the commonly used materials when making whiskey stones:
Soapstone is a superb material for absorbing cold temperatures. It is also relatively soft compared to the other used rocks, which helps protect your whiskey glass from damage.
Steel is one of the commonly-used materials for making whiskey rocks. This is due to their exceptional conductive nature, which allows for quick chilling and keeping your drink icy.
Like soapstone, granite is a naturally-occurring stone. Granite whiskey stones are usually preferred to add an aesthetic touch to your drink. It also works like soapstone whiskey stones.
How do you use whiskey stones?
According to Drinksanddrinking, below are some proper guidelines on how to use whiskey stones to cool your drink; To achieve satisfactory results when using these stones, they must be stored in the freezer for at least four hours before use. After removing your whiskey rocks from the freezer, you can use as many as you want in your drink. When pouring your favorite whiskey drink, wait for some minutes for the stones to absorb heat from the drink. Additionally, after using your whiskey stones, do not use soap; rinse with clean water and dry. To absorb any remaining moisture on the stone’s surface, you can use a paper towel or a clean dish towel. Lastly, when you are not using your whiskey rocks, place them in the freezer until you want to use them again.
So, are whiskey stones worth it?
Whiskey stones are relatively affordable; thus, they make a perfect complement when enjoying your favorite drink. They are also durable, continuously eliminating the need to buy new ones, and can be used more than once. If you do not want to use whiskey rocks, you can also use ice cubes, which still have the same cooling effect. The only downside to using ice cubes is that it tends to affect the overall flavor of your drink as it adds water. It is often advisable to opt for whiskey stones as they ensure your drink has a consistent original taste throughout.
1. Are Whiskey stones better than ice?
If you would want your drink to remain perfectly chilled from start to finish, whiskey stones may not be the perfect choice for you. While they chill your drink from the start, it is not maintained to the finish like with ice cubes. Ice cubes absorb the heat of the Whiskey, which causes it to melt around the Whiskey.
2. Is it a good idea to add water to your Whiskey?
This is a common occurrence when using ice cubes to cool your drink. While some claim ice cubes tend to dilute the drink’s original flavor, others claim that using ice cubes highlights your whiskey drink’s hidden flavors. Well, the correct answer depends on your favorite drinking trends.
3. What material is best for a whiskey stone?
According to Rackhousewhiskeyclub, stainless steel whiskey stones are the best for ensuring your drink remains chilled from start to finish. Compared to the other whiskey rocks, these stones have a special gel that allows your drink to remain cold for longer.
4. Are Whiskey Stones Healthy?
Whiskey stones are usually made of soapstone, which is a naturally-occurring rock that is used to cool drinks without affecting the original drink flavor. It has been proven that soapstone is safe for human consumption due to its hardy nature.
5. Should You Wash Whiskey Stones?
When cleaning your whiskey rocks, you are advised to avoid exerting much effort to clean them. However, if left uncleaned, it can lead to the buildup of residue and bacteria. That said, clean them after use and properly store them in your freezer to avoid absorbing other flavors.
To get maximum results out of your whiskey stones, you should avoid those made of low-quality materials. Whiskey stones made of such poor materials can make your drink have an unpleasant taste and affect your drink’s purity. The best whiskey rocks to use are those made of high-quality soapstone and stainless steel.
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