When it's time to serve up your favorite cocktail, the best ice cube trays for cocktails are an invaluable tool for cooling your drink, and most people will want trays that can create large ice cubes that won’t melt and dilute your booze as quickly as standard cubes. Usually, that means looking for trays and molds that create cubes measuring around 2 inches across. Some trays create cubed or rectangular ice that can look classy in a glass, but if you're especially concerned about your ice melting too quickly or just like the aesthetic, you may opt for molds that create spherical ice, which melts more slowly. Either way, look for trays that make it easy to remove the ice once it's done — flexible silicone makes removal a cinch, but stainless steel trays with release handles also do the trick.
While silicone ice cube trays can make it super easy to release finished ice, the flexible material can be tough to carry without spilling when it's full of water. If this is a concern for you, look for silicone trays that come with firm plastic shells. Silicone trays can also be prone to picking up freezer odors, which is why many come with lids to keep out unwanted tastes and smells. That said, if you're really sensitive to freezer smells, you can opt for a stainless steel tray that's less likely to absorb odors — if so, just make sure your tray comes with a release handle to help you remove the cubes, as ice tends to stick to the metal.
Cube-shape and spherical ice are classic, but if you're throwing a party or just want to try something fun, you can also look for a quirky novelty mold that creates ice in fun shapes, like spooky skulls.
Scroll on to check out my roundup of the best ice cube trays for cocktails and make your next party or casual night at home just a little bit cooler.
1. The Overall Best
This OXO Good Grips ice cube tray is a great option for making cocktail ice. This ice tray creates six large square ice cubes — each measuring 1.75 inches per side — to help chill your drink. The tray is made from flexible silicone to make it super easy to pop out finished ice cubes, while the plastic frame provides sturdy support when you're filling, transporting, and storing. A lid prevents the cubes from absorbing freezer odors.
The tray is stackable so that you can save valuable space in your freezer if you buy multiples. It's also BPA-free and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Positive Amazon review: "This one is ideal for cocktails as large cubes. A nice feature, so it does not melt fast or water down drink. I love how easy it is to fill tray then cover and place in the freezer. But the best part was taking ice out of a flexible silicone tray for easy release. I have had others with a cover but difficult to release If you only want a few cubes."
2. The Best Combo Set With Spheres & Cubes
If you want to make both spherical and square ice cubes, this Glacio ice cube mold set is worth considering. This set includes one tray that produces 1.75-inch spherical ice and one that makes 2-inch square cubes. Each tray makes six large pieces of ice and is made out of durable BPA-free silicone with a nonstick design for easy removal. When the trays need washing, you can throw them in the dishwasher.
It's worth noting that while the spherical mold comes with a lid that may help prevent it from absorbing freezer odors, the square ice cube tray does not have a lid. If this is a concern for you, you might prefer this similar but lidded set from TGJOR.
Positive Amazon review: "I love these unique ice trays! I've wanted something different for bourbon and other fun cocktails, and these are perfect without costing too much. Ice is very easy to remove, and they came with great packaging and instructions. I highly recommend it."
3. The Overall Best Spherical Ice Mold
This two-pack of Tovolo sphere ice molds is ideal for chilling individual drinks with giant balls of ice. Each mold creates one 2.5-inch ball. The extra-large size and spherical shape of the ice will melt slowly, preventing your drink from becoming watery too soon. The molds are made from sturdy BPA-free plastic with silicone caps that protect them from freezer odors. They're designed to stack nicely on top of each other for convenient storage, too.
The molds might look a little more complicated than your standard ice cube tray, but they're actually super easy to use. You just pour water up to the visible fill line, place the lid on top, and freeze for four to six hours. To remove the ice, just run warm water over the mold and then peel the silicone cap up by its tabs while squeezing the sides of the mold. When you're ready to clean the molds, just toss them in the dishwasher.
Positive Amazon review: “These ice molds are great for sipping whiskey or other cocktails that you want to be well chilled but not watered down in 10 minutes. I usually make a decent quantity of these in a row so that I have them on hand if I need them. These do fit great in a high-ball glass or other sipping glass.”
4. The Best Stainless Steel Tray
If you don' t want to risk the freezer odors that silicone and plastic trays tend to absorb, this Onyx stainless steel ice cube tray is a great option with serious retro vibes. The stainless steel construction makes it sturdy, durable, and resistant to smells. The tray produces 18 ice cubes measuring 1.5 inches by 2 inches in size and has a release lever to help you pry out the finished cubes. According to users, it helps to run the tray under warm water or let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before you tug on the lever. If you need to clean it, the tray is dishwasher safe.
Positive Amazon review: "Perfect for clean-tasting ice. We love our Onyx stainless steel ice cube tray. It's easy to clean, doesn't absorb odors and as long as you don't fill the tray too full, it's easy to get the ice out. [...] Overall, we're very happy we bought the ice cube tray and will be buying a second one."
5. A Novelty Tray That Makes Skull-Shaped Ice
This Shaped skull ice cube mold tray is a good choice if you want to dress up your cocktails with a spooky or rock and roll vibe. This mold creates four large 2 inch by 2.36 inch skull-shaped ice cubes — perfect for chilling your whiskey or cocktails without watering them down and for starting conversations. Because the tray is made from silicone, it's easy to remove ice with a quick twist, and because it includes a lid, it shouldn't pick up too many freezer smells.
If you're throwing a party, you'll be glad to know that it's easy to freeze multiple trays of these skull-shaped ice cubes at once, since the tray can stack neatly. When you're ready to wash it, it's safe to throw in the dishwasher.
Positive Amazon review: “The trays are durable and make a perfect skull-shaped cube. If you enjoy a little flair to either your cocktail or desire to create a skull-shaped mold, these work to perfection.”