What we are talking about here, specifically, is a really cool 55mm ice ball maker that Eddie got me for Christmas, among other bar essentials, from the Cocktail Kingdom website. This source for bar supplies was highly recommended by Master Mixologist William Perbellini of Bar Toscana during a mixology class we took with him last year. So here is my own 5-question interview – to myself – of the process:
It is a bar tool sometimes seen in use in upscale bars, usually one with a good single malt selection. It is two weighted pieces with a cut out between them of a sphere. When put together, with a hunk of ice between them, they slowly meet to create the perfect sphere.
2. Why do you need one?
If you like to have your single malt or cocktail with less dilution but kept cold, it’s an aesthetically pleasing option. The larger the cube the slower the ice will melt. We’ve tried the small square “rocks” that look like real rocks, the ice kept in a separate section of the glass and the plastic cubes that light up – the cool ratio, literally and figuratively of the Ice Ball Maker, takes it up a notch.
3. What is the process for getting the clear ice?
The second key for an aesthetically pleasing drink is to start with clear ice. It not only looks clean, there are less impurities in a clear ball of ice than a regular cube so it may taste cleaner to you on the palate. We made the clear ice with Perbellini’s method: Starting with a gallon of purified bottled water and a small ice chest, fill the chest up about four inches from the bottom with the water and freeze. Once frozen pick off the top clear layer. The impurities, and cloudy portion, will be at the bottom of the ice block.
4. What is the process on working the ice ball maker?
A chunk goes in and a ball comes out. It’s pretty simple and once you have the device, self-explanatory. From creating the clear ice, working the Ice Ball Maker and making a cocktail we have 8 or so step-by-step photos here in a Facebook photo album link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204574827118068.1073741892.1455706632&type=1&l=dc1915a04e and a less than 1-minute YouTube showing me and my hubby Eddie watching the ball making process for the first time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxBYui_6jvM
5. What are the details of ours?
From the Cocktail Kingdom website: Produces 55mm ice balls which fit a single rocks glass. Made of anodized aluminum with silver finish. Comes with 2.5in Ice Cube Tray. (We haven’t used the tray as we are doing the clear ice method as explained in question #4.) Uses gravity and the thermal conductivity of aluminum to quickly shape a perfect sphere of ice.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a guest judge for the L.A. International Wine Competition. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com