My Quest for the Perfect Ice Cube

I have long had a hate-hate relationship with ice cubes in my beverages. Every time I raise my glass to take a sip, the ice cubes go rushing up the glass in a mad, desperate attempt to take up residence in one or both of my nostrils. Either that, or I simply get slapped in the face with an icy, wet blast of irritation. And if I don’t consume my drink with the speed of a dehydrated castaway on a deserted island, the ice dilutes my drink to a lovely flavor of stale water.

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No matter the size or shape of the ice, I inevitably end up using my teeth as a filtration system. While this technique of baring my teeth in a grimace tends to buffer the onslaught of ice, it also makes me look like a rabid dog, ready to bite the nearest human. Many a friend has stared blankly across a restaurant table at me as I struggle to take a sip of water.

My lifelong search for the perfect, not-annoying ice cube has resulted in a ridiculous collection of ice cube trays. I have every shape and size you can imagine – even a silicone tray that makes brain-shaped ice cubes (don’t ask).

And yes, I have an ice maker in the fridge. It disappoints me daily.

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After a few years of admiring large, round ice balls from afar, I have finally gotten a set of silicone ice ball makers from Arctic Chill. The ice balls arrived from Amazon, I tore open the package impatiently, and immediately began my critical inspection.

The ice balls come as a set of 4 individual silicone forms, weighty, and approximately the size of a baseball. I peered at them with trepidation, wondering what kind of bruise they’d leave on my upper lip. Then my inner 12 year old took over and I tried bouncing one off the counter.

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Weighted and flat on the bottom with a small hole at the top for the water, these silicone ice balls seemed pretty solid and loaded with potential. Whether it was a potential for being all around amazing or for inflicting bodily harm, I was not yet clear. I filled all four silicone molds with water and set them on the screen porch to freeze. Because winter in New England is 9 months long.

I think I overfilled the ice balls a bit, because as they froze they pushed the top pieces of the form up and off, and resulted in a not perfectly round ice cube. If you have OCD, this will drive you nuts.

Once frozen, it is a bit tricky to extract the ice balls from their forms. The silicone was too thick for me to warm it up effectively under running water without melting the ice, but I was able to wedge a spoon into the edge and pop the ice cubes out.

Once out of the form, these babies are the size of a monster jawbreaker, weigh a solid 4 oz., and might be considered by some to be a weapon of mass destruction. I thought that if the ice cube actually fit into a glass and if I managed to get the ice cube into the glass without shattering it, then I was sure to nail myself on the first drink and get a lovely shade of purple going on that bruise.

Ice in glass. Check. Beverage in glass. Check. Time to settle on the couch with a book and see if I would be disappointed yet again.

Oh holy mother of god! I have found my icy soul mate. At last! These ice balls are the cat’s meow, folks. Not once did I chip a tooth or get smacked in the face. The ice ball was so heavy it just sat at the bottom of the glass, spinning contentedly, doing its job and minding its own business while I sipped away.

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These babies are the everlasting gobstoppers of the ice world. Melting slowly with minimal beverage dilution, the Arctic Chill ice balls outlast your drink – for hours on end.

I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am to finally find an ice cube that doesn’t piss me off! Beyond the functionality, they look badass in cocktails too. Other than overfilling the water and finding extraction of the ice balls from the forms to be a bit difficult, I really am quite delighted with this product.