Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

My friends tease me because I want fresh ice when I top my drink. But I'm right, right?

Stephen Orsillo/Thinkstock

The question: Friends criticize and tease me because I use fresh ice in my second and third drinks instead of continuing to use the existing, melting, small, pathetic ice cubes that dilute my drink. They see it as wasteful and "princess-like." Please provide me with the proper response so I can assure them that an expert backs me up!

The answer: You are justified. Clearly your cold-hearted friends missed a vital lesson in high-school thermodynamics (perhaps they were out drinking tepid cocktails)

It's a proven fact that smaller ice cubes melt more quickly than larger ones. I'll spare you the mind-bending details. It's a complex phenomenon and involves more than just the obvious fact that smaller cubes possess a relatively larger surface area than the same volume of larger-cube ice.

Story continues below advertisement

Convectional air currents around the glass also likely play a significant role. Also, the longer an ice cube remains out of the freezer, the warmer it becomes. Although water freezes at 0 degrees, ice, once formed, can get much colder than that based on the temperature of your freezer. A fresh cube may emerge from the freezer at, say, minus 20, gradually warming up as it melts and veering closer and closer toward zero until it melts completely, at which point your drink is all liquid and starts warming up to room temperature. This is the reason fashionable bars have taken to using larger-than-normal ice cubes in many cocktails.

A fresh, big, very cold cube is the way to go if you want maximum chill. A wise princess such as you deserves nothing less.

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear on The Globe and Mail website.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Life columnist

Beppi Crosariol writes about wine and spirits in the Globe Life and Style sections.He has been The Globe's wine and spirits columnist for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, he also wrote a food trends column called The Biting Edge.Beppi used to cover business law for ROB and previously edited the paper's weekly technology section. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at