A Clear Choice - 405 Magazine

A Clear Choice

Vault Ice’s cool cubes and spheres for next-level libations.

Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

Vault Ice’s cool cubes and spheres for next-level libations. 

It’s not an uncommon question in places where you find Vault Ice: Why would I spend an extra dollar on my cocktail for ice? Yes, a dollar for a cube or sphere of ice. It may seem an odd upsell to those of us who grew up with those metal ice trays with a lever, or the modern plastic versions. But don’t dismiss it without hearing why Vault Ice is something you might need in your home if you love cocktails or spirits on the rocks. 

Depending on which part of the city you live in, your tap water has very distinct “flavors,” which might be a nice way of describing their impact on a cocktail. You’ve spent good money on premium spirits and mixers, and then taken the time to squeeze fresh juice and smack the herbs to release all those aromas, and then you toss what is at its core frozen city water into this concoction of otherwise stellar ingredients. Why? 

Vault uses two very important processes — one of which pretty much any reverse osmosis system can replicate, and one that’s based on proprietary technology — to put a crystal-clear cube or sphere of purified and clarified ice in your cocktail, where it will have zero negative impact on the flavor profile. 

“Our RO process is not the ‘secret sauce’ of Vault,” said CEO Jon Naught. “The machine that we use to do the actual freezing is the secret. It freezes from the bottom up, and so when the 300-pound block of ice is frozen, the top inch or so will be where the impurities have floated to the top and frozen. All we have to do is remove that layer, and you get crystal-clear ice.”

Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

They have a couple more proprietary methods, including how they get the lovely perfect spheres, but the important thing here is that you can add them to your home cocktail routine. 

“We’re not really a retail-facing company,” Naught said, “but we do have a direct-to-consumer delivery service you can access from our website, or you can place an order to pick up at our facility in Norman.” 

To try it before you buy it, head to Barkeep, Palo Santo, 1884 or The Joinery. They each have Vault behind the bar, and they’ll happily let you try it in your cocktail or pour of spirits (for a small upcharge). Barkeep sells sleeves of Vault Ice you can take home, as well as several local liquor stores, or you can go online and use one of the methods Naught mentioned. 

To really enhance your home bar, consider Vault’s personalized stamps. The company can use your logo, initials or other artwork to create a stamp that “brands” each ice cube. You’ll find more information on that under the Shop tab at the Vault Ice website, vaultice.com