There is a new product on the market called Arctic Spheres, that are silicone forms used to create large, round ice cubes. These would be ice spheres, to be more precise. The whole idea behind the spheres of ice is that they melt slower. This is because of the lower surface area-to-volume ratio of the spheres as compared to traditional cubes. From a scientific standpoint, this makes perfect sense!
Rizzi, at Arctic Chill Products, was kind enough to send me this product to honestly evaluate. For me, it was just a wonderful excuse not only to test such a novel bartender’s product, but also to try out a new cocktail!
People who drink Scotch are the ones behind the concept of utilizing extra-large ice cubes or, in this case, ice spheres. Those who enjoy Scotch on the rocks don’t really want the ice to melt quickly and water it down.
I am not a Scotch drinker. I have sampled Scotch in Scotland at Talisker’s and whiskey in Ireland at two different distilleries, Bushmill’s and Jameson’s, because I felt it only fair to taste the best at the source. But I have concluded, sadly, that I don’t like Irish or Scotch whiskey/whisky. It’s just not for me, even watered down.
So to showcase and test out the ice spheres, I wanted to make a cocktail instead. It’s my blog, so it’s only fair that I not suffer too much, right??!!
The arctic spheres are very easy to use. I first rinsed them well in warm water, although it is good to know that they’re made from BPA-free silicone. You can read all about them on the arctic sphere website Arctic Chill Products.
I filled each sphere with “good” water through the holes on the tops, then I froze the spheres overnight. The bottoms of the four spheres are flat, so they can easily be placed on your freezer shelf, or first on a tray before placing it in the freezer.
The silicone forms come off easily, and you’re left with beautiful ice spheres, ready to be placed in your drinks. However, to insure that the ice didn’t melt quickly, I also had all of my cocktail ingredients chilled. Just a tip.
It’s March now. It’s a time when we’re all hoping that winter is mostly over, but sadly, it’s not yet spring. So I came up with a “seasonless” drink adapted from one I found online. If you’re ever wanting a search engine of sorts for alcoholic drinks, try out Bar None Drinks. You can even search by a specific ingredient, like Pernod or creme de cassis.
1 oz. Galliano*, chilled
1 oz. Crème de Banana, chilled
1 oz. Half and Half, chilled
1 arctic sphere
To make the cocktail, I simply combined the Galliano, Crème de Banana and half and half into a shaker and shook until the ingredients were well combined, about 10 seconds. Then I poured them over one arctic sphere per glass.
The arctic spheres are very pretty and indeed, and they do not melt fast.
I spent about 45 minutes enjoying this drink, which was deliciously banana-y and herbaceous at the same time, and as you can see, the ice sphere was definitely in tact at the end. It perhaps only lost about 5-10% of its volume, by estimation only, of course. It also helps that these ice spheres are so large, being 2 1/2″ in diameter!
For information on purchasing these sphere makers, check them out on Amazon here. There are four in each package, that retail for $19.95. Each sphere would be a wonderful stocking stuffer as well!
Of course, other liquids can be frozen in these silicone spheres, like limeade or orange juice as well, depending on what you want the ice spheres in, like a punch or sangria. So they’re quite versatile.
I’m definitely giving a thumbs up, and 5 Amazon stars for this product. They’re easy to use, functional, and the creative uses for these are endless. Thanks, Rizzi!
* Galliano, if you’ve never used it, is a very herbaceous liqueur from Italy. To me it tastes and smells like cough syrup, which is not a good thing. But I like it in small quantities. If you like the taste of cough syrup, increase the amount of Galliano in the above recipe to 1 1/2 ounces.