Clear Ice 101


We have tested dozens of products on the market from inexpensive ice ball molds to thousand dollar ice ball presses and wanted to save you some time in your search for clear ice by detailing our experience!

First of all, why should the ice in your beverage be clear and spherical?

    • The surface area to volume ratio of a sphere is less than a cube of the same size or several smaller cubes. Less surface area means that a sphere will melt much more slowly than cubes, providing you with a drink that stays colder longer and is less diluted.
    • By removing the air bubbles and impurities from the ice you are reducing the likelihood of it cracking and breaking up into many pieces which will increase the surface area in contact with your beverage and dilute your drink too quickly.
    • It is unmistakably aesthetically superior. Why go through all of the trouble of concocting the perfect drink only to tarnish it with imperfect ice?
Visit our shop to check out Wintersmiths clear ice makers, the Ice Baller, Ice Baller Double and Ice Chest. Or keep reading below for more information...

HOW TO MAKE ICE BALLS

If you are like us, you have tried a wide assortment of ice ball molds and different water sources in an attempt to make a clear ball of ice. If you are new to this, we want to save you the time and headaches associated with trying to achieve a clear result with this quick summary of your options and the outcomes.

Types of Ice Ball Molds

We have tried about five or six different ice ball molds- some are simple and made out of either plastic or silicone and capable of producing 1-4 ice balls, while others are a little fancier and use a combination of silicone and plastic material. These molds work as advertised and produce a ball of ice, however many of them will not give a symmetrical ball of ice and you will end up with more of an oval with a seam of ice running around it, and none of them will produce a clear ice ball. 

Can Water Adjustments Produce Clear Ice?

There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet about how to achieve clear ice. We put the different water options to the test using a standard ice ball mold to show you the end result:

As you can see they all still have considerable cloudiness from the trapped air and impurities. The closest thing to clear was definitely the double boiled water but it is still far from clear. This is because when water freezes in a standard mold it is freezing from all directions, trapping the air bubbles and impurities in the center. 

CLEAR ICE BALL TECHNIQUES

Now that you know how challenging making clear ice can be, you are probably interested in learning about your options.

Japanese Ice Carving

This option requires that you can purchase large clear ice blocks or make them at home before getting started and that you have exceptional hand-eye coordination ;). Check out the video below from Cool Hunting to see how it's done:

 

Aluminum Alloy Ice Ball Makers

This option also requires that you already have large clear blocks of ice before using it. The best example of this type of device is the Macallan Ice Ball Maker which takes a block of clear ice and can melt it down into a sphere. Unfortunately these ice ball makers can be extremely expensive - the Macallan maker comes in just shy of $1,100 USD and doesn't even make ice for you!

Wintersmiths Ice Baller, Ice Baller Double & Ice Chest

If it isn't obvious to you by now, we have tried all of the methods listed above to make crystal clear ice balls and were never completely satisfied. We developed the Ice Baller, Ice Baller Double & Ice Chest to enable you to produce large clear ice spheres and cubes in your home freezer with tap water for a fraction of the cost and effort required by other solutions. By controlling the way that the ice freezes we are able to remove the air bubbles and impurities from the ice ball, leaving you with the only ice fit for your glass.

We truly hope you enjoy our products, cheers!

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