This blog is essentially dedicated to teaching you all the best tips and tricks to be the best possible home bartender you can be for the best price. We’ve already covered looking the part with a bar cart, simple garnish hacks, and a few elevated drink recipes (including martini, mule, and bloody mary twists). It makes sense that our next challenge to take on is ice.
Ice? A challenge? You ask. It is a challenge indeed if you wish to take your cocktails a step above just crushed or boring cubed fridge ice. Recently, large squares of ice have become increasingly popular in cocktails. We like to twist mainstream trends, and so decided to forget the square and take on a sleek ice-ball. After all, a ball of ice is completely incredibly on-brand for Balls Vodka.
Ok, so the easiest way, of course, would be to use a mold. These are relatively affordable on websites like Amazon or Target and provide exactly the size and shape you’re looking to achieve with little effort required. However, if you do not want to buy one or have tried molds before and find they crack your ice or always end up expanding (both are common occurrences), we found DIY methods of creating successful ice balls so you wouldn’t have to!
A quick note:
What are the benefits of using round ice? A circular cube melts slower than a traditional one due to the surface area relative to the volume. This not only keeps your cocktails cold but also prevents them from getting too diluted.
Take one: Water balloon
This is the cheapest and easiest, but in most cases, you won’t achieve a perfect circle shape.
Take a water balloon and fill it to your desired shape and size then tie it off and freeze until it is completely solid. You can set it in a bowl, tray, or another container to assist in setting the final shape. Do not let them touch!
When finished, cut off the balloon and voila, circular(ish) ice!
Take two: Tennis Ball
This is a better method to achieve a ball if you have any tennis balls laying around or perhaps you live by a tennis court with some aggressive players who hit a couple over the fence.
Tennis balls are actually quite strong so be careful should you choose this option!
Cut into the ball, leaving some of it still connected (roughly ¼). Fill a water balloon as instructed above and put it inside the tennis ball. We recommend filling it with the water balloon already inside the ball. When the balloon is as full as it can be inside the ball, tie it off on the outside of the tennis ball and close it, securing everything with rubber bands.
You can also do this with oversized tennis balls such as old dog toys, or similar balls.
Additionally, spice up your ice balls by adding a few drops of food coloring before the water or sliding in a mint or basil leaf