GE-backed startup brings crystal-clear ice to fans of bourbon and other spirits

Ice is a bit of a tricky business. While most people just fill an ice cube tray with tap water, it seems a bit of a shame to contaminate fine spirits with a less-than-pure chunk of frozen water that inevitably contains impurities at worst and trapped air at best.

For the rest of us, a new GE Appliances-backed startup called FirstBuild has just launched a groovy new gizmo called the Forge Clear Ice System via its own crowdfunding platform. The Forge system has a simple purpose — the delivery of perfectly clear ice. Yes, there’s a pretty specific target market for this thing. If you’re happy with the super-complicated new Coke machine at your local fast-food restaurant, go forth and live a happy life. But if you’re a connoisseur of really great bourbons, whiskeys, tequilas and other spirits, read on.

Clear ice isn’t a new innovation. Bartenders have been messing around with it for decades, although it tended to come in 300-pound blocks until about 20 years ago when an NYC bar called Weather Up started playing around with ice that didn’t take a week to make. That’s where FirstBuild’s creation, the Forge Clear Ice System, comes in. Even modern methods of clear ice creation take up to a day. FirstBuild’s new gem can make clear ice between lunch and happy hour. It’s expected to run about $1,500 when it hits the retail market, but the company is offering pretty significant discounts to early adopters on its crowdfunding site. I’m also told that you can get the discount during this funding stage using the discount code “FORGE,” for what it’s worth.

“Our engineers have worked alongside whiskey experts and enthusiasts to create both an innovative way to make clear ice at home, and an experience that creates a wow every time,” said Larry Portaro, executive director of FirstBuild, in a release.

Keep in mind, this is nothing like an ice tray. This is an actual kitchen appliance that’s going to require some counter space. The two-component system includes a self-contained ice maker that produces clear gems of ice — no freezer space or plumbing required. Secondly, the Forge device serves as an ice press, complete with integrated heaters.

How’s that work? Basically, the ice maker makes ice cubes and keeps them frozen. The aforementioned heaters shape the cubes into crystal-like spheres in a minute or so, with no preheating or recovery time.

According to FirstBuild, Fred Minnick, spirits author, historian and editor-in-chief of Bourbon Plus, has signed on as spokesman for Forge.

“We’re living in the golden age of distilled spirits, and even if you’ve been enjoying these wonderful spirits near your whole life, clear ice is a game-changer,” Minnick said. “If you’ve read my books, you know I wouldn’t ordinarily recommend putting ice in your whiskey. But there’s a reason why Forge is the first product I’ve endorsed.”


Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Prefer iced over hot coffee? Amazon cuts 62% off of this Dash cold brew system

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping the grounds in water overnight, for a smoother taste. With the Dash Rapid Cold Brew System, you can make a whole pot in five minutes, now only $49 from Amazon.

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Amazon wants Alexa embedded in every vehicle to connect with smart homes

Amazon is following up on Alexa's penetration into smart homes with an incursion to embed the voice assistant in cars. There are third-party Alexa-compatible automotive aftermarket products, but the big score is in-vehicle software systems.
Smart Home

The best Nespresso machines to make coffee shop creations at home

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop-quality espresso on your kitchen counter.

Amazon drops deals on Nest, Honeywell, and Emerson smart thermostats for summer

Amazon currently drops the price of Alexa-enabled smart thermostats by up to 33% so this may be the chance you’ve been waiting for. Check it out here as we've listed them all for you.
Smart Home

The best smart locks that provide secure keyless entry for your home

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Walmart cooks up a sweet air fryer deal, grab one now for only $39

Let someone going away for college know you care about their well-being by giving them an air fryer. The La Gourmet Six-Quart Digital Air Fryer and Convection Oven is on sale on Walmart. Get one today in white or charcoal for $39.

Let the Deebot 711 robo vacuum do the dirty work with this 39%-off Amazon deal

After a hard day’s work, you just want to go home and rest. But sometimes, instead of going straight to the couch you find yourself facing a whole lot of mess. You need to get yourself a robot vacuum, like the Ecovacs Deebot 711. It's…

Amazon brews up 26% in savings on the DeLonghi coffee maker

There is lots to love about a hearty morning cup and with Amazon brewing up a sweet 26% price cut on the DeLonghi Pump Espresso and Drip Coffee Machine. That's $70 shaved off from its usual price of $270.

Love your dogs from afar with the Petcube Bites camera, now 60% off on Amazon

It’s tough to go to work and leave your dogs behind. They could get lonesome or worse, start messing around and chew on furniture. The solution is a pet camera, like the Petcube Bites pet camera. It allows you to spy on your dogs, talk to…

Amazon will give you $5K in free smart home tech and more when you buy a house

You can now get up to $5,000 in Amazon credit if you buy a house through Amazon’s new TurnKey program. The $5,000 incentive includes smart home and home theater equipment along with services like unpacking and cleaning.

Dust off all your recipes: Walmart drops price on the Instant Pot Ultra by $71

With different cooking functions and customizable program settings, the Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart Multi-Use Programmable Cooker is an ideal pick for fast and flexible cooking. Order yours today for only $88 instead of the usual $159.