I first saw the Macallan Ice Ball Machine demonstrated at one of the scotch maker’s Raise the Macallan events. It’s an ingenious contraption that uses the weight and ambient heat of its metal construction to melt a large ice cube into a perfect sphere. When I checked to see what it would cost to own this fine piece of equipment, I was disappointed.
The Macallan ice ball maker sells on the Macallan website for £650, which is about $1,000 at the current exchange rate. Nevermind the fact that it doesn’t seem to be something you can buy in America — shipping is sure to be pricey. So for those of us who may never have the disposable income to shell out for the Ice Ball Machine, here’s a video.
That’s not the only one on the market. Here’s a few more:
The Drinksology Ice Ball Maker is another UK import, retailing for £595, about $945.
The Cirrus Press above, which makes a 2.75-inch sphere, retails for $799 and is back-ordered. A smaller version for a 2-inch sphere is $429.
Taisin, a Japanese maker of ice ball molds, makes them for perfect spheres or soccer ball shapes.
Some other Japanese ice ball makers are a bit more complicated:
Others are so large and complex that one wonders why all this technology went into ice balls.
So thank the cocktail gods that you can get a cheap plastic Japanese ice sphere tray for $16 at the Museum of Modern Art’s store. I’ve been using mine for about a year and it works quite well. Large ice does melt slowly, and the small amount of dilution it provides is nice for certain cocktails.
There’s no reason a very big cube, like the ones you can make with a Tovolo King Cube ice tray, wouldn’t work, too — and it’s under $10. And I’ve seen large ice columns that fit the contours of a lowball glass in bars before (anyone know where to get the trays for those?).