Deemed illegal during the snowball fights of our youth, ice balls are now all the rage among the drinking crowd (their popularity a close second only to shiny objects). From liquor quality and glassware to fresh recipes, nothing escapes our attention when it comes to finding the things that make us smile, and custom ice is no exception.
Fancy mixology bars spend thousands of dollars on massive metal ice ball makers, which compress blocks of ice into spheres. Lucky for us, one can now buy small inexpensive silicone molds for about $12 (e.g., Muji’s Silicone Ice Ball Maker, muji.us/store).
The theory is that an ice ball, with less surface area than a cube, will melt more slowly and dilute a drink less, which is true. Larger cubes of ice can produce the same result, though: Simply buy a $12 ice pick and, with a little practice, you can transform a big block of ice into an army of large cubes in 15 minutes.
Plus, I guarantee the live theater of working over a block of ice will be more interesting to your guests than the ignition of the gas grill. You can even be neighborly and give Mr. Jones a free lesson.