Whisky on the Rocks, Perfected
Ice spheres have been associated with Japanese bartending until fairly recently. The large, round balls of ice, designed primarily to use with whisky, were crafted to order by artisans who’d learned the art through long hours of practice. The spheres weren’t just made to look pretty — they actually chill faster and dilute more slowly than standard ice cubes. And the last thing a customer sipping a Yamazaki 18 or a vintage Karuizawa wants is watered-down whisky on the rocks.
Most of us, it’s safe to say, don’t have ready access to a Japanese bartender. But nowadays, if you’ve got a freezer, you too can create your very own ice sphere, thanks to the molds that have proliferated in recent years. In our opinion, the best of the bunch is the Glacier Rocks Ice Sphere Mold by Viski, one of the finest purveyors of quality barware we’ve ever encountered. This mold not only makes ice spheres, it's more likely to make them clear, rather than the typically cloudy ice that comes out of the freezer. It’s also more user-friendly than typical ice molds. The rubber “tongues” on the top half of the mold make it easier to separate the mold, and remove the ice, so your sphere winds up in your glass instead of rolling around on the counter or the floor.
Ice spheres are the best method we’ve tried for keeping whisky cold without watering it down — give it a try with a pour of the Starward Nova whisky and the Sempli Select Double Old Fashioned Glass. But don’t hesitate to get creative, too! Fill your mold with fruit and herbs to make the ultimate gin and tonic, or add your favorite juices for a fun summertime cocktail. You can even add low-proof spirits like vermouth or liqueurs (try about 1/4 spirit to 3/4 water) to create “evolving cocktails,” where the mixer slowly melts into the spirit. But no matter how you decide to use your ice mold, you’re guaranteed great looking and great tasting drinks. You’ll never want to go back to run-of-the-mill ice cubes, no matter what you’re drinking.
This mold is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended) for Viski’s amazing selection of tools, books, and gadgets for aspiring home mixologists and oenophiles. Visit their online store at viski.com and get ready to up your game by several orders of magnitude.