Okay, we admit it. We're a little nutty about our ice. Check the freezer and you'll see a collection of silicone ice trays with everything from large cubes to even some random shit like shark fin shaped ice trays. But besides the novelty, there's actually some science to what ice you use in a cocktail.
Ice is water. Everyone knows that. But think about your cocktails recipes - how many of them actually call for water as an ingredient? Very few. When it comes to ice, it's all about surface area. A large cube of ice has six sides...break that same cube into pieces and good luck counting all those sides. The more surface area that comes into contact with your cocktail, the quicker the ice melts and the more water you add to your drink.
Sometimes that's not a bad thing, but other times - like when drinking damn good whiskey or bourbon - it's a deal breaker. That's where ice balls come into play. A perfect sphere is known to have the least amount of surface area of any surface on the planet. When wanting to cool your drink without watering it down, go have a ball - of ice, that is.
But if you're like us, your Facebook feed is filled with ads for ice ball molds. Have you ever used one? We have - several different types in fact. Every single one yields the same result. You get a somewhat round ball of ice to start with, but give it a minute or two in the glass and it starts to split, eventually cracking into pieces. That kinda defeats the whole purpose, right?
But why do they do that? It's simple science really. As water freezes it expands and when it's trapped inside a mold, that creates areas where gasses get trapped and fissures occur. If you really want to have a ball with your ice, you should skip the mold and splurge for the real think - an ice ball maker.
Unlike an ice ball mold that compresses the water into a ball shape, an ice ball maker takes a larger piece of ice that was free to freeze uncompressed and then quickly melts away the excess to create a perfect sphere. Made with precisely-machined aluminum, ice ball makers combine the conduction qualities and weight of the metal to 'heal' imperfections in the ice during the melting process. So not only will you be the stud at the party with a real ice ball, but that ball won't split and will slowly melt and give you a great glass of booze every time. Everyone will really love your balls...ice balls, that is.
When ice ball makers first came out on the market a few years ago, the price was practically laughable. Shell out around $2k and you could have one of your very own. But things change, people innovate and thankfully for the rest of us, you can now get one for about the price of a few (really) good bottles of booze. Speaking of which, if you're the kind of person that buys high-end booze, you should really invest in an ice ball maker.
The Whiskey Ice Co. out of Dallas is making them here in America from 100% reclaimed aluminum. Best of all, they're priced around 400 bucks. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Even better yet, the guys at The Whiskey Ice Co. have offered a special discount just for 3st of the Month. For a limited time, you can get $40 off with the promo code 3STOFMONTH in their online store!
Go ahead, be a baller.