Keeping drinks cold is serious business, at least I've been told it should be, as I work in a bar and generally have to worry about things like this.

And therein lies the rub. Water-based ice cubes are traditional, but they're usually not preferable as while they do a fantastic job at keeping stuff cold, they also have a tendency to piss off some of our customers who are generally twats and are deeply offended that their pristine, perfect drink is being befouled and, quite frankly, shamed by the presence of WATER - Who do you think they are? Animals?

We used to use quite ingenious little metal devices. They were pretty much smooth, steel blobs that were hollow and almost completely filled with water. The water inside freezes and stays frozen for quite a while, which keeps the metal cold, that in turn keeps the drink cold. They are completely tasteless, provided you don't put them in your mouth (at which point they taste like metal - shocking!), did not dilute your drink and were quite stylish little things. They worked wonderfully, and I have some of my own. The problem was they worked so well that the rich business executives who passed through the bar made it plainly clear that the reason they're rich in the first place is because they're lying, cheating bastards who will not think twice of ripping off the common man and stealing. Those things were expensive, which is why we don't use them anymore.

So now we're currently back to the wonderful H20 system. It's boring but it works. I've been looking into other options. There are granite "ice cubes" that seem quite interesting. Cold Stone Creamery uses a frozen block of granite to keep ice cream cold, but whether or not it can make something cold is another story. Everything I've read says that they're novelty items and nothing more.

The most viable solution seems to be Soapstone. It's been used to make stuff like goblets, pots and cooking utensils, but can it be used to cool a drink? I'm led to believe it's tasteless, has no harmful properties, is an excellent thermal conductor, smooth to the touch and not likely to damage glass. A wonder material that will cure all our ills! Amazing! They said the same thing about radium

My boss has also expressed interest but should they go into widespread use they will be at request only, as the natural urge to crush ice when it's in your mouth might get the better of some patrons, and expensive dental costs are not something we're particularly interested in.

They might also seem less appealing to those rich bastards, especially if we fail to mention the switch, serve them a fine whiskey on the rocks and allow them to chew over the finer points of drink cooling

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