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I'm not a connoisseur but I know some here are into their fine whiskeys. So are these people taking the proverbial or what exactly?:
It's not red, but it has got rocks in! Ah yeah, I'm in the wrong advert again.
They seem to be $15 a set, which compared to some bags of stones I've seen for sale is a bargain. The idea of "something cold which isn't ice to go in your drink and cool it without diluting it" isn't new, I've been using frozen grapes for this sort of thing for years. As a bonus, you get a grape to eat at the end of your drink!
Also, I don't like my whisky chilled. I like it room temperature with the *tiniest* bit of water to just open up the flavours a bit (rinse the glass out before adding the whisky seems to be about right) but given the prices are in dollars, I assume they're designed for bourbon which should be thrown away rather than drank.
 http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina31.htm $39-$159 for a bag of pebbles, which when taped to the cables on your hifi magically improve the sound... Now *that's* taking the proverbial!
I like the idea of frozen grapes, although how many times have you chomped down on one to find it is still frozen inside?
the winning technique is to bite slowly. By the end of the drink they're never really frozen as hard as ice is, it's more like eating a small grape flavoured icelolly.
And, if you are slow enough, it will be an alcoholic grape by the time you get to it. :)
> I assume they're designed for bourbon which should be thrown away rather than drank.
Have you run out of things to strip paint from?
Fifteen bucks for nine squared off pebbles? Yeah, that's a piss take all right. They'd be nicer and more useful if they were marked as dice.
If you like the idea and want to try it out, then what the feck is wrong with some carefully selected pebbles? It'd be an excuse for a visit to the beach. The only drawback is the risk of breaking your prized crystal glass whisky tumblers as you idly swill a handful of rocks around!
But personally I'd visit my local independent toy store in Leicester, where they flog a plethora of polished semi-precious gem stones to starry-eyed pre-teen girls eager to become werewolves. Or something. They come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colours, for a fraction of the price of the silly over-packaged pebbles. They'd beat SippingStones into a cocked hat for looks, do just as good a job, and not be quite such pretentious bollocks into the bargain, and like LP I think there are sound reasons for wanting a non-dissolving whisky cooler. Or you could just chill the glass like they do in Oz, where the bars have one fridge for the beers and another for the glassware.
By the by I recently made a very agreeable conversion from rabid objection to water in whisky, which I have now discovered is rather good in the right time and place.
 Semi-precious in this context means "ooh, shiny", or something that may once have been used by a lapidary centuries ago. Or for a more modern slant, it means they get to rush you 30p for a small pebble.
Good grief, I've just noticed they're made of soapstone. You're gonna need a rock the size of your head to compete with ice, what with water having a specific heat of 4.2j g-1 deg c-1 and soapstone slouching in with a measly 1.1j g-1 deg c-1. You'd need to drink quite a lot of whisky to persuade yourself that they are a good idea.
Rock in general is a good insulator.
You might have better luck if you made the tumbler out of rock and kept it in the freezer....
I'm just going to make small waterballoons that can be frozen.
a lot more efficient and they can be personally designed for everyone.
Now all that needs to be done is decide a price, how about €20 for 5 small pieces of plastic with water in them?
Given my experience with all drinks (from tea to coffee to booze to ribena), plastic is not allowed anywhere near my drink. No plastic mugs, no storing in plastic containers.
Somehow it always just leaves a slight taste (although not even close to the taste from a camping water container). Usually I'm metal (or enamel), ceramic or glass only. Stone is on the list to try, but I don't think I have yet. Paper (paper) cups aren't ideal, but they're not too bad - Styrofoam cups are bad.
So, given my aversion to ice in drinks (not talking about whisky here) - I'd be interested in a method for cooling a drink other than chilling the glass or ice (chilling the glass isn't so great if you're at home and want to keep topping up a cup all day long).
I'm actually tempted to go out to find and clean some pebbles capable of cooling a summer drink.
I'm sure that I notice this effect of plastic far more than most people - but I'm also sure that whisky drinkers, would care more - so I doubt they'd want frozen water balloons in their drinks.
A wide variety of vendors sell reusable ice cubes that are not made of rocks, although they cost more than rocks, but less than special whisky rocks.
Apparently it is the phase change from solid to liquid that cools the drink quickly, so ones with liquid in presumably work better than rocks.
Sorry, but they're not as bad as you make them sound. You were looking at weight-specific heat. I think you should be comparing same size (rock/ice) cubes, where the rocks gain due to their higher density. Still 3 K/(J*cm³) for rock compared to 4 K/(J*cm³) for ice, but that small difference might be worth getting rid of dilution.
I've never understood why people spend lots of money on fluids which are to be consumed at taste-numbing temperatures...
I've been bartending about eleven years now, so I'll throw in my two cents.
The stones are a rip. No one serious about any spirit would do this, at least in New York City, without being ridiculed as impractically pretentious. Frozen grapes are used a lot in bourbon, rye, gin, flavored vodkas and anisette; but I don't imagine Scotch drinkers would be interested in it (although I have never heard anything to the contrary).
Chilling glasses is more common than using frozen grapes, but it's still in the "uncommon" category for old-fashion style glasses and highballs. Frozen glassware are most commonly cocktail/martini glasses and pint glasses.
One of the principle reasons people use ice in a fine whiskey, besides to chill the drink, is that a small amount of water "opens" the whiskey, releases a lot of the flavors and aromas. This is called (pretentiously) "expressing the bouquet."
Many small cubes tend to melt quickly, diluting the drink. Some people prefer this effect, sometimes allowing a drink to nurse until sufficiently dulled. The alternative is to use a rather large cube.
This large cube trend is incredibly popular in New York right now, and any cocktail bar worth its salted rim has an ice machine that produces a large, glass-filling cube. It melts considerably slower and cools the drink more thoroughly. I have seen at least a few menus refer to drinks in this style as "On The Rock."
Chilling stones and putting them in your drink is, to me, silly. Paying for stones to chill is also, to me, quite silly. They'll also probably scratch your glassware.
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