I rarely feel bad for men. Most of the time, they are kind of hard to feel bad for. But I feel bad for them when I read the gift guides aimed at them. Nearly every guide of gifts for brothers, fathers, husbands and lovers (ew) contains “leather box for keys and pocket jerky (as seen later in gift guide),” “a subtly tough beige or grey weekender bag that doesn’t look at all like a purse,” and “stupid bloody whiskey stones.”
Ladies and fellas. Do not buy your man whiskey stones. Don’t buy your lady whiskey stones. Don’t buy anybody whiskey stones. (I will say, one real advantage to being a woman is that no one puts dumb whiskey stones in our lady gift guides. This is of course based on the real cool notion that women only drink clear spirits and pink wine. Our gift guides contain wonders like this 80-dollar scrunchie, but I digress.)
Whiskey stones do not chill your whiskey as well as ice. They also don’t dilute your whiskey, which is marketed as a good thing, but is actually a bad thing, since all booze tastes better with a little dilution. They are also much more expensive than ice, which is not free, but almost free. Whiskey stones are mostly useless, and I only say “mostly useless” and not “completely useless,” because a very clever Twitter friend responded to a very angry tweet of mine with one very clever use for them:
Our household has come into possession of two sets, so I use them to cool tea when I’m impatient to start sipping.
— Kelcey Rusch (@kdrusch) December 13, 2018
This is the only good use I have ever heard for these useless stones. Does it justify buying a set of whiskey stones? No. But it does give you a use for them, if some well-intentioned but ill-informed friend or relative gives them to you this holiday season. Since they are only capable of vaguely cooling whatever liquid you put them in, they are absolutely perfect for taking the hot edge off a cup or tea, coffee, or (festive) cocoa.
This article has been updated since its original publication.