How To Make Clear Ice Balls?

Ice Balls

When it comes to your signature cocktails, clear ice balls make a sharp presentation. The ice balls not only quickly chill beverages that call for ice, but they also melt more slowly than regular ice cubes, which keeps the flavors of your drinks from being overpowered. The method for creating crystal-clear ice balls at home will be covered in our post.

When To Use Ice Balls?

When sipping straight liquor on the rocks and inexpensive mixed drinks like the old-fashioned and black Russian, ice balls are ideal. In order to keep beverages cold and devoid of extra water, it’s also nice to use ice balls in milk or cream cocktails as well as iced coffee.

The diameter of an ice ball is typically two inches, making it comparable to a handball or racquetball. Most lowball glasses and some tall glasses with wider rims will fit them. Your ball might sit on top of those that taper inward at the rim.

To keep a party punch or pitcher drink ice-cold for several hours, add a few ice balls to it as well.

Ice Balls’ Lifespan Is How Long?

The room, glass, and liquids that are poured over the ice all affect how long an ice ball lasts. The ice ball works better when it’s made with cold ingredients and a chilled glass.

Generally speaking, a single large ball will last for two to three drinks and about two hours. That can be shortened to an hour if it’s a warm summer day outside. But that’s still much longer than the 15 minutes you might get out of regular kitchen ice cubes.

What Kind Of Water Should Be Used To Make Clear Ice Balls?

Water, which can be obtained from a variety of sources, is obviously the most crucial component in the creation of ice. From the faucet in your kitchen, the nearby grocery store, or who knows—maybe even from the clouds. You have three options for drinking water: filtered water, grocery store drinking water, or the obvious choice, tap water (though depending on your state of residence, it may taste pretty bad due to minerals and impurities).

On the other hand, we advise using distilled water to reduce the number of impurities and off flavors. It’s essentially tasteless and free of the impurities that make your ice appear opaque, so you can feel secure using it.

Water is first boiled, then the steam and water droplets that result are collected, and the steam is then condensed to create drinking water.

Imagine using a lid to collect the water droplets as you boil a pot of water on the stove, then funneling those droplets into a sterile container until you have enough for an entire 8 oz glass of water. We also don’t believe that it sounds enjoyable. Therefore, even though distilling water at home would be a laborious process, buying a jug from the grocery store and calling it a day would be your best option.

How To Make Ice Balls( 4 Methods)

Carved Ice Balls

In Japan, it’s customary to carve ice balls out of a single solid block of ice. It’s considered a craft, and a skilled carver can create one eye-catching ice ball in about eight minutes. It requires a lot of practice, patience, and ice to master this skill. For the majority of home bartenders, it is neither ideal nor practical.

Ice Ball Press

A large chunk of ice is crushed to form a ball using an aluminum or metal mold, or “ice ball press.” The ice block is pressed into the ball-shaped mold by the force of the mold, which requires little to no effort to produce a perfectly rounded piece of ice in a matter of minutes. You can make 30 or more ice balls in an hour once you get going, though you will need to have a good supply of ice blocks on hand.

These presses are widely accessible and are also offered in a variety of shapes. They are pricey, and the ice balls might not be precisely two inches in diameter.

Plastic Ice Ball Molds

Molds made of plastic are much more affordable, costing about the same as a good ice cube tray. Using a two-part mold and filling it with water is the basic structure. Although trays that produce two to six balls at once are frequently found, single ice ball molds are also available. With some molds, you can take out individual ice balls as they freeze; with others, you must empty the tray completely.

The main drawback of these molds is that a larger amount of water needs more time to freeze. Consider allowing twice as long as you would for a standard ice cube tray in your freezer. This might only take five hours in extremely cold freezers, but it’s usually best to let it sit overnight. To hasten the process, place the mold in the freezer’s coldest area or in a chest freezer.

When purchasing a mold online, pay close attention to its size. There are many ice trays, molds, and presses that are just modified versions of the common cube tray. Mini ice balls are entertaining, but two-inch balls work better for slow dilution.

Ice Ball Balloons

Grab a bag of balloons if you want to experiment with the effects of an ice ball without spending money on a mold or press. Actually, they are more of a teardrop shape, and you can make them any size you want (as long as the ice will fit in a glass). For this simple trick, you’ll need a spot in the freezer where you can hang the balloons after they’ve been filled with water. Try them in a drink after they have frozen for the night.

Tips for Making Clear Ice Balls

I’ve explained how to store clear ice balls correctly, and now I’d like to share some valuable tips for making clear ice balls:

Water Type Matters

Any water will work to create clear ice balls, but different types of water have different tastes, as any conscientious water drinker will attest. 

If you typically avoid drinking tap water due to the taste, avoid using it to make ice balls because it will change the flavor of your beverages. Consider using that brand of bottled water if you like the taste of it. 

Because it tastes better and doesn’t contain the same minerals and chemicals as tap water that cause cloudiness in ice balls, distilled water is a great option. As a result, the ice you receive will be clearer and taste better.

The minerals from hard water that cause some silicone molds to develop a white residue can also be eliminated by distilling or softening the water. It’s usually a good idea to do this if you can because many silicone molds for clear ice spheres are made to be used with water. 

Boil the water before filling your mold to get rid of any air bubbles and dissolve any lingering impurities. Since boiling water might cause the plastic to melt, wait a little while before pouring it into your mold.

Use A High-Quality Mold 

The results may vary depending on how well your ice ball mold works. Use a premium mold that is BPA-free and forms a perfect sphere to produce the clearest ice balls.

I personally use Tovolo Leak-Free Sphere Ice Molds from Amazon, which are reasonably effective and don’t take up a lot of freezer space. They do produce ice balls with small bubbles in them, though, as they are not flawless. 

Check out my list of the top sphere ice cube trays for molds of higher quality. 

Take The Ice Balls Out Of The Freezer In Advance

Nothing is worse than taking your perfectly shaped clear ice ball out of the freezer only to watch it break as you pour your whisky over it. 

Ten minutes prior to making your drink, remove your ice ball from the freezer to avoid unsightly cracks. When you pour the liquid over it, it has time to temper, which reduces the likelihood that it will break.


It’s a great idea to use clear ice balls in place of regular ice cubes for drinks. You can appreciate the full flavor profile of your pricey whisky because these ice balls have a striking visual impact and melt more slowly than ice cubes. You can now attempt to create a flawless, clear ice ball at home on your own. Have fun!

Read more about: How to Make Clear Ice Cubes at Home

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