In a pinch, it doesn’t really matter whether you get your ice from an ice tray or a convenience-store freezer—you’re probably just happy to have a drink that’s cooler than room temperature. But if you’re throwing a swanky party and want to impress, ice sphere molds produce large circular cubes worthy of pricey five-star cocktails that look too beautiful to consume. One cube per drink is all you need to maximize both the cooling and the coolness factors. There are scientific benefits, too. The jumbo sphere-shaped ice cubes melt more slowly than regular ones, so it won’t quickly dilute the taste and potency of your cocktail. Cheers!
This pair makes circular cubes that are 2.5 inches from top to bottom. Amazon
Silicone molds are sturdy and can be washed by hand or inside the dishwasher. Ice is easier to remove from them, and unlike plastic molds, they won’t crack or break. The cover does more than contribute to the cube shape. It allows you to store items on top of the mold while reducing the threat of freezer odors permeating the cubes.
These are designed for easy release. Just twist or push from the bottom to pop them out. Amazon
Sphere molds come with top and bottom hemispheres, which can make them tricky to fill. You don’t just pour water in and go—some allow water in through a small hole or tube at the top. Others are designed so that you fill the bottom half and push the top into place, possibly resulting in messy spillage if you put in too much water. To keep the ice-making process as tidy as possible, look for a mold that has a fill line on the bottom half indicating when you should stop pouring in water.
Flexible and Durable
To avoid spilling, be sure the top and bottom portions are fastened together firmly, and carefully carry it to the freezer. Amazon
Some molds incorporate directional freezing, which starts at the top and pushes air and impurities downward, to achieve perfectly clear cubes. They require a top and bottom hemisphere as well as an insulated box to place them in, so they’re pricier than molds that produce cloudy cubes. These also take quite a bit longer to prepare ice balls—from 18 to 22 hours to fully freeze. But the extra waiting time is rewarded with added visual elegance.