Say “Bye-Bye” to the Cube
When nearing the end of a Scotch on the rocks, a Jack and Coke or perhaps a Gin and Tonic, the water is often tasted more than the drink itself. It is often disappointing. How can a watered-down drink be eliminated? The answer is the ice ball; otherwise known as the Japanese ice ball. The glass sized sphere sits at the bottom allowing liquid to flow over it rather than within. The result is a drink with optimum flavor without the excess water.
The amazing chunk of sculpted ice gives drinks its full flavor and keeps them chilled with less melt. Ever wonder the difference between homemade drinks and bar drinks? Ice in bars is designed to fill the glass to optimum volume. Normal ice from trays deter from the efficient use of a glass’s shape. The ice ball was discovered by some talented Japanese cocktail lovers by intricately carving ice. Bartenders in Japan take the time to make ice balls for their exquisite drink creations.
To make an ice ball, the easiest option is with a mold. One type is made of aluminum and copper and it quite expensive, but remarkable. Macallan, fine purveyors of scotch whiskey, inherited the rights to the devices for a few years. It actually runs on gravity with frictional heating of the copper that plays perfectly with room temperature to make an ordinary pieces of ice into a perfect sphere.. The cost varies with the type and size of the unit. Another type is simply a plastic double mold and works just as well, but ample freezing time must be allowed. For cocktail connoisseurs to produce a good ice ball inexpensively here is what a master mixologist suggests: Fill balloons with water and place in the freezer overnight. Allow for the “teardrop” like shaped ice to freeze. The price of ice ball molds can vary significantly depending on size and type.
When made correctly and at moderate temperatures, an ice ball can last up to two hours. Be wise when choosing glasses for your ice ball because they are not meant for tall cocktails. Making ice balls every day is unlikely, but for a special and sophisticated occasion, it is worth the effort. Now, raise a glass and cheer for the ice ball.
- Janiece Rejba