What Are Whiskey Stones & How to Use Them

LAST UPDATED ON April 19th, 2020

No matter how you love to drink your whiskey – neat, on the rocks, or splashed with drops of water – there is nothing wrong with trying something new and outside of your comfort zone. One of the more recent trends in alcoholic drinks, especially for the whiskey aficionados, are whiskey stones or whiskey rocks.

This craze emerged in 2007 and has become relatively widespread in social drinking circles and connoisseurs in the past decade. The allure of this new stylish way of chilling your drink has continued to permeate the market. Whiskey stones pave the way to provide more innovative ways to enjoy your favorite drink. They are a wonderful addition to anyone’s bartender tools and will also make great gifts for whiskey lovers.

What Are Whiskey Stones?

Whiskey stones, also called whiskey rocks, can be made of soapstone or stainless steel cut or molded typically into little cubes that keep your drink in a sweet chilled spot without diluting its taste and affecting the aroma. Compared to ice cubes, whiskey stones have greater longevity and usability since they don’t melt in the drink. You can simply wash them, store them in the freezer, and put them back in your next glass.

What are whiskey stones

Soapstone vs. Stainless Steel

Soapstone is a non-porous type of rock. Being non-porous means there are no spaces in them where water or air could pass through, making them odorless and tasteless. This allows soapstone whiskey stones to maintain the purity of your drink. They’re also heat-resistant which give them the ability to keep their temperature for a sustained period of time.

Another quality of soapstone is its soft texture. After the sharp edges have been removed, you can put them in your glass without worries of leaving any scratches or cracks. Most soapstone whiskey stones look like marble or pewter, and that’s because most of them have been made with a semi-polished finish that gives off the texture and feel of natural stones.

Though soapstone is a great material for making whiskey rocks, people have turned to stainless steel as the perfect alternative. Just like soapstone, stainless steel whiskey stones do not dilute the whiskey however, they have higher heat capacity allowing them to keep your whiskey chilled for a longer time than soapstone. The ease of cleaning and sterilizing stainless steel also makes it great for repeated use. No matter how many times you use them, your whiskey will be kept clean and unadulterated.

Stainless steel gives a nice, silvery sheen compared to soapstone’s polished texture. Their excellent flexibility allows whiskey stones to be customized to different shapes and designs, from cubes, spheres, dice and even bullet whiskey stones. Other designs include cylinders and pyramids, and cool fun shapes like footballs, sailor’s anchors, and skulls.

How to Use Whiskey Stones?

By the time your whiskey hits below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, you lose most of its good stuff. If you like you’re bourbon, Irish or Scotch particularly cold, using stainless steel whiskey stones create the most comparable effect to ice.

Whether you have soapstone or stainless steel whiskey rocks, the steps are nothing different. Chill them in the freezer for at least four hours then take them out when you are going to drink. Simply put them in the glass and pour your liquor of choice. After you finish drinking, you can simply wash the whiskey rocks and store them again in the freezer for the next time you will use them.

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