Tips for stone care

How to Clean Soapstone Whiskey Stones?

All you have to do is put a couple of stones in a glass of whiskey and you will be known as a gourmet who knows about scotch. But this “accessory” has a much more important function. The stones cool the drink and maintain the “correct” temperature for a long time without distorting the taste. Let’s figure out how whiskey stones “work”. Are they really that good? Maybe we should still use ice the old fashioned way?

Whiskey stones: what are they for?

Scotch is one of those drinks that can be enjoyed both neat and in a duet with ice. Perhaps someone will say that whiskey is good “without anything at all,” but clear rules have long ceased to work here. The problem is that the water formed in the glass from the ice cubes “distorts” the bouquet of the whiskey. This is sometimes beneficial for strong drinks – sharp bitterness and coarse peatyness disappear. But what if you like your scotch chilled, but don’t want to dilute it with ice? This is where stones come in handy. They cool the whiskey and maintain its optimal temperature for a long time. At the same time, not a single drop of water will “spoil” the bouquet of the drink. Stones for cooling whiskey can be made of different materials. But they all work on the same principle. The stones absorb the heat from the whiskey, making it cooler. The rocks seem to be perfect when it comes to tasting scotch “properly.” But their use also has disadvantages. Firstly, the stones cool the drink for quite a long time. When you don’t have much time to taste scotch, this becomes a problem. And secondly, in practice, stones still cannot keep the drink cool for a long time, as the manufacturers say. Moreover, having absorbed the warmth of whiskey, they themselves become warm. And when this moment comes, the stones no longer cool, but, on the contrary, the tape heats up. That’s why some gourmets say that they haven’t come up with anything better than ice when you need to quickly and for a long time cool strong alcohol in a glass. Yes, the bouquet of the drink changes a little, but it will remain at the optimal temperature for drinking for a long time.

Which whiskey stones to choose?

Considering the popularity of adhesive tapes all over the world, there are plenty of accessories on the market for their proper use. Stones come in different shapes and sizes – usually cubes or balls. But there are also accessories in the form of miniature barrels or bullets, for example. The average price tag is 300-2000 rubles. However, the cost may be higher if we talk about large gift sets of whiskey stones. But when choosing them, it’s not even the shape and size that are important. We look at the material from which the stones are made. Their effectiveness depends on this. Soapstone whiskey stones are very popular. They have micropores on their surface, which allow the drink to cool quite quickly, and they are cheaper than other accessories. Another option, also based on natural materials, is granite stones. In general, they have the same properties as steatite. Only these accessories are more expensive. It is believed that granite and soapstone stones have one serious drawback – they only slightly and briefly reduce the temperature of the drink. In addition, some of them may scratch the glass. There are also steel whiskey stones made of stainless steel. They are good because they cool faster in the freezer, which means you can start tasting the delicious drink faster. They do not crumble, do not wear out, and do not impart a metallic taste to the adhesive tape. And some people prefer to use real “exotics” in the process of tasting elite alcohol – for example, jade whiskey stones. It is believed that their properties differ little from cheaper soapstone and granite, but the price tag is much higher. There is a possibility that this is just marketing and not true effectiveness. Which whiskey stones are best is up to you to decide. It may be worth experimenting with several types to find the best option for you.

How to use whiskey stones?

It is believed that a standard 50 ml portion of scotch tape will require 2-3 stones. That’s why accessories are mostly sold in whole sets – for at least two people. Before using the stones, it is recommended to keep them in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Then we put them in a glass and pour whiskey in there. We drink and enjoy.

Storing and caring for whiskey stones

Regardless of what the stones are made of, it is best to store them wrapped in cotton cloth. Some of them are sold in beautiful bags – we’ll put them away here until our next whiskey tasting. After using the stones, they should be washed under running water, wiped dry and placed in the freezer. Preferably away from food. Connoisseurs know that an alcoholic drink like whiskey requires a certain serving temperature. The optimal values ​​at which the full palette of taste and aroma of scotch is revealed, not drowned out by the alcohol base, are considered to be values ​​from 16 to 18 degrees. Ice is often used to cool the drink, but it quickly turns into water, thereby reducing the strength and tasting quality of the alcohol. The ability to maintain the desired whiskey temperature for a long time appeared in 2007, when special whiskey stones were invented. Why whiskey stones are needed and how to use them correctly you will learn from this article.

History of invention

The idea of ​​creating Whiskey Stones came to former banker Andrew Hellman quite by accident. Once again, while putting things in order in the house, he came across a leather bag with stones that he inherited from his grandfather. My grandfather was a native Swede, and such sets of stones were in almost every Swedish family at the beginning of the twentieth century. They were used to cool hot dishes and drinks. Andrew often visited Edinburgh, where he learned a lot about whiskey and its culture. He learned that the Scots never added ice to it. This gave Hellman the idea of ​​using grandfather stones as a scotch coolant. At that time, the American had already quit the banking business and opened the design firm Teroforma, which in 2007 developed and launched a popular accessory to this day – whiskey stones.

What materials are suitable for making Whiskey Stones

  • The temperature of the drink is lower than optimal, and therefore it loses its unique taste;
  • Ice cubes quickly melt, turning into water, which reduces the strength and distorts the taste of the liquid;
  • Melted ice no longer has cooling properties.

When selecting material for their invention, Teroforma company specialists tested many different minerals and chose soapstone.

For reference! Soapstone, also known as soapstone, soapstone or stovestone, is a natural resource material. It is found in many parts of the planet. Today there are at least one hundred deposits of this mineral. Lightproof, with different shades of color (green, gray, brown, white, sometimes even red), due to the presence of impurities characteristic of a particular area. Soapstone is mined most in Eastern Finland; it is also found in India, Russia (mainly Karelia), the USA and Brazil.

The properties of soapstone have been known to people for thousands of years. It was used to make dishes and kitchen utensils, stoves, storehouses, heated floors and walls in living rooms. The mineral is easy to process, it is stable, has good heat capacity, and is resistant to combustion. Talc slate remains intact when exposed to various liquids, including detergents. In addition, steatite has a water-repellent effect, which makes it easy to care for and treat with special compounds. Such unique characteristics distinguish it from a number of other materials.

Currently, many manufacturers make whiskey stones from other heat-intensive minerals (jade, shungite), as well as from stainless steel. Some unscrupulous sellers offer Whiskey Stones made from granite. Experts do not recommend using granite accessories, since this material is porous, it can absorb moisture and is not environmentally friendly. Steel pebbles are shaped like balls filled with gel or water. They are used less frequently because they give the alcohol a metallic taste.

Good to know! Whiskey stones have the form of cubes with sides measuring from two to two and a half centimeters or disks 3-4 centimeters in diameter. A set usually consists of nine pieces. This amount is enough for 3-4 glasses of whiskey up to 50 ml.

How to use whiskey stones correctly

The stone accessory is needed not only to lower the temperature of the whiskey. They are used for cooling other drinks, such as vodka, champagne, cognac, water, freshly squeezed juice, etc. If you place the mineral cubes in the microwave for about one minute, and then put them in a cup and pour hot tea or coffee, the drink will remain warm for about half an hour.

High-quality whiskey stones do not lose their properties for many years. But in order to use them correctly and enjoy the cool scotch tape for as long as possible, you need to follow a number of simple rules:

  1. After purchasing, new stones must be thoroughly rinsed with water.
  2. They should be frozen for about two hours before using.
  3. Dishes should be chosen with a thick and wide bottom to prevent damage.
  4. For one serving of whiskey, it is enough to take 2-3 stones.
  5. Stone cubes are usually sold in natural fiber cloth bags. After use, the accessory should be washed, dried, put back in the case and placed in the refrigerator until next use.

The popularity of whiskey stones has been and remains high. They can serve as an ideal gift for a respectable man or a connoisseur of fine alcohol. This is a timeless accessory that is not subject to wear or aging. It turns drinking strong alcohol into an elegant ritual.

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