When I went to check out The Armory Club last weekend, I was SHOCKED to learn that ice cubes can be more than just frozen water--they can be used to communicate elegance...class...panache (I don't know what panache means). In the rough-and-tumble world of $9 cocktails, ice makes the difference between which bar people stumble into and which they stumble past.
But, as you may recall, ice cubes are slave food--ice balls are "the real hotness right now." And fortunately for us, Gizmodo recently took a look at what goes into making an ice ball:
It watches like a Disney Channel remake of Breaking Bad, where Walty White opted to make The Finest Ice In All of Brooklyn instead of delicious, teeth-melting meth. But it's not all hype, it really is a superior product:
Not all ice is created equal. Sother Teague gave us this example—bite into an ice cube in a fresh drink. It's hard, and then it shatters like glass. A minute later, if you bite it again, it kind of squishes and squeaks a little. That's the effect of low-density ice. Clear, dense ice, frozen slowly using this lake effect, can last a half hour before it starts to soften up.
But beyond that, custom-frozen giant chunks give a bartender much more creativity and control. What could be better, for example, than a clear sphere of ice? The thing you see in the video is the Cirrus Ice Ball Press. Using gravity to apply pressure, the metal wicks heat, melting the ice in about a minute, which really looks like magic. You're left with a 2.75-inch-diameter, six-ounce sphere of ice. In a rocks glass, it will last you a loooong time—a sphere is the ideal shape for ice to retain its heat. One ball should last you several drinks.
God bless America.