For Xmas, a family member, knowing that I like to sip straight whiskies, gave me "Whisky Stones". A simple concept, Whisky Stones are nothing more than small cubed-shaped pieces of soapstone. You freeze them in the little cloth poke (looks strangely like a bleached-out Bull Durham tobacco poke) which comes with the kit, and you put them in a glass and pour whisky over them, just like ice, except ice melts and dilutes the whisky. The objective is to cool the whisky some without diluting it.
Do they work? Yes, somewhat. I took a standard 8-oz highball glass, put in three frozen Whisky Stones (my freezer runs at -5), and poured in Teacher's Scotch, a blended whisky, to the top of the stones as per the instructions. As I sipped, I noted that the whisky was cooled slightly below room temperature, and was probably AT what passes for room temperature in Scotland where the whisky originated.
Now, I sip this whisky neat at room temperature about half the time I imbibe it, and I noticed little difference in the pleasure I get from sipping. The whisky was slightly cooler, that's all.
Since I usually allow myself two whiskies of a night when I'm not driving, I made a second one. In this glass, I put six of the frozen Whisky Stones and poured in a double-shot of whisky. Note that the whisky did NOT cover all the stones, as only four of them fit flat in the bottom of the glass. I rocked the glass to get all the stones covered, and sipped away. Now, the whisky was definitely cool-to-cold, probably 25 degrees colder than it had been with only three stones in the glass. This was superior sipping!
For care of this equipment, you just take your emptied glass and Stones, run in tap water to rinse the stones, pour out the water and dump the stones into a clean dish-towel, dry them, put them back in the poke and the poke back into the freezer. Couldn't be simpler.
You can look up the product's maker online. I started to, but Google rejected the search, indicating that there was some sort of script or bad text in the website. If you feel confident in your security set-up, go to terraforma dot com.
I also have an earlier, less glamorous form of this product. It consists of poly capsules filled with antifreeze of some sort. They work, are not as glam.
You greenies could easily make your own, since making (rolling?) your own is THE Greenie thing. Just hie yourself to your nearest highland stream, wade in and collect some appropriately-sized pebbles of rounded river-rock, take them home, scrub them up, maybe boil them for good measure, dry off and freeze. A zipper bag will serve as the poke to freeze them in or you could drag out your trusty sewing machine and make yourself a muslin (not Muslim) poke.
Or, you could simply place your bottle of Highland Dew in the fridge or freezer and serve it cold.
According to the Rivrdog rating system, this product rates 3 Huzzahs for concept, 3 more for execution, and a half-meh (half of a negative Huzzah) for necessity (since, using the same resouorces, you can pre-cool the whisky instead of using Whisky Stones). Cost effectiveness is not rated since I don't know how much the giftor was charged for them.
I saved the best for last, though.
The name of this product would make a GREAT name for a small band of musicians, wouldn't it?