Ice Ball Molds

The Ice Ball Mold makes perfect spheres of ice in several sizes, ranging from 30 mm to 80 mm. It's intended for use by bartenders. You can watch a video of the gadget in action at the link.

Link via GearFuse | Photo: Japan Trend Shop

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"What you want is the opposite: lots of surface area (to cool the drink quickly) and little volume (to avoid diluting the drink)."

Surface area doesn't matter in diluting the drink. It changes the speed at which the drink cools and the ice melts, but the absolute temperature change in the drink created by the ice is largely mass dependent. If you need to cool X amount of drink to a specific temperature, then you need Y amount of ice. Your drink will get just as watery, no matter what shape the ice is in because surface area only changes the rate of heat transfer not the absolute amount of heat transfer needed to cool the drink.

If you use more ice than is required to get it to the equilibrium point, then you'll have some extra ice in the glass that keeps your drink cool longer as the room temperature air warms it up. But that extra ice will water it down more as it keeps it cool. So your drink only gets more watery if you use too much ice and then let it sit on the bar forever before you finish it. Also once the ice is sticking out above the pool of liquid in the glass, your ice is mostly melting to keep itself cool from the air. You're watering the drink down for nothing. Either finish the drink or get a refill so the ice isn't melting in vain.

There are a few ways you can change the amount of ice you'd need and reduce the wateriness of the final drink. Most ice used at bars or restaurants is probably at or near the freezing point. If you cool the ice more before using it, then the ice will have to warm up before it can melt. This makes the drink cool faster by increasing the temperature difference between the ice and the liquid. It also reduces the amount of ice you need to use by increasing the amount of energy the drink has to give up to melt each cube. Or you could just use something like dry ice which is both very cold and also doesn't create water when it melts.
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Uh... who cares really about the speed of cooling and wateryness of drink, all that... it's a perfect sphere... it's just cool because it's a sphere. If it takes longer to cool my drink... I don't care, cause it's a sphere. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place but I see nowhere that they claim to be able to cool a drink faster... but either way, it doesn't matter.... cause it's a sphere. The amount of time and effort I could waste on worrying about what kind of ice cube cools my drink faster could be much better spent on actually drinking the drink... especially if it's got a cool sphere ice cube in it, :)
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Restaurant ice cube makers are designed for speed and energy efficiency of manufacture. It is merely a side benefit that the same shapes are especially effective at diluting highball.

Order it neat or order it up. Don't let the drink die on the ice.
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