Here's How You're Meant To Use Whiskey Stones

Whiskey in a glass with cube shaped stones
Whiskey in a glass with cube shaped stones - Yulia Gusterina/Getty Images

If you're a hard alcohol connoisseur there's a good chance you may have seen or even been given a set of whiskey stones — it's a gift even picky dads will love. These are an ideal alternative if you prefer your whiskey neat, meaning without "rocks"  but would still rather it be cold than cellar or room temperature. However, if you have come into possession of these little artifacts, you may have wondered how to best utilize them.

Thankfully, they couldn't be easier to use. Once you receive a set, wipe them down with a warm, clean cloth and allow them to air dry. From there, pop them in the freezer for a few hours, and they're ready for use.

Once they're chilled, you can use them to lower the temperature of your liquid. You are in control of whiskey stones and can decide how many you want to use for your drink, which will depend on the volume in your glass and your desired level of coolness. You can also use them for other spirits you might want to sip on, like cognac or gin, cream liqueurs like Baileys, or even cocktails that call for ice, like a bourbon old-fashioned.

Read more: 26 Popular Vodka Brands, Ranked By Their Versatility

When To Use Whiskey Stones

Whiskey in a glass with stones and burlap bag
Whiskey in a glass with stones and burlap bag - Deniskozlov/Getty Images

When and whether you want your whiskey chilled is a matter of preference and there is some debate over how temperature impacts the drinking experience. On the plus side, you may experience more of the liquid's character and it can also take some of the alcoholic edge off when it's served cold. However, if it's too cold, you won't be able to perceive some of the spirit's nuances. The beauty of whiskey stones is that you can modulate your coldness level by choosing how many you'd like to use.

There may still be times you'd prefer to use actual ice, as in the case of an overproof whiskey that may benefit from a splash of water to help dilute and "open" and allow certain aromatic compounds to come through above the smell of straight alcohol. But even in that case, you might find it useful to blend a little ice with a few whiskey stones in a drink like a classic rye Manhattan cocktail. Keep in mind that no matter what, your stones will never get quite as cold as traditional cubes so you're less likely to ice out the whiskey's personality.

Whiskey Stone Selection

Cocktail with thyme, lemon, and whiskey stones
Cocktail with thyme, lemon, and whiskey stones - Murziknata/Getty Images

Not all versions are created equal. Whiskey stones come in a variety of materials, from marble to soapstone, granite to steel, and ceramic, each with its own properties. So when purchasing you may want to do some research on what will best serve your purposes. For example, stainless steel and soapstone are nonporous, meaning you don't have to fear they'll suck up smells or flavors from fellow residents of your freezer and infuse them into your whiskey, while you can toss ceramic stones into the dishwasher with no problem.

Another benefit to using these is that they'll be ready to use faster than making traditional ice, as they're chilled after just two to four hours. Regular ice cubes, on the other hand, can take up to 24 hours — especially if done to a preferred level of clarity for cocktails and spirits.

Whiskey stones have the bonus selling point that you can use them repeatedly, which is a boon from an environmental perspective as they save on water usage. You can also drop them into any other drink you'd like to cool but not dilute, like white wine, coffee, or tea. Whichever way you decide to use them, they'll easily satisfy your cooling and drinking needs.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.