Americans are notorious for their love of iced beverages, despite the fact some drinks are best served closer to room temperature. Namely, whiskey. As a smart compromise for those who still demand their rocks, several of our local fancy-famous-bartenders have taken to hand-chiseling large, slow-diluting ice spheres. Cold drink, less water. Genius. If weak drinks are a still a problem when you imbibe at home though, you can now fashion your own chilly orbs thanks to the Cirrus Ice Press, available for a mere $700, though prices vary. And hey, after 20 drinks, it pays for itself.
There are two ways to look at it: as an absurdly expensive device that quickly shapes frozen water or, the right way, as a superior method for chilling extraordinary libations that were distilled by professionals. If you're buying top-tier liquor, may as well respect it, right?
When investigating why Cirrus ice balls are better than simply chilling a bottle of Scotch, we received looks of horror and high-pitched answers about deadened flavors and numbed palates. We're now convinced that round ice is an awesome part of the mixologist's arsenal — and, potentially, yours.
Science tells us round ice melts slower due to the fact spheres have less surface area than any other solid object. It certainly shrinks long after cubes, chips and (heaven forbid) crushed ice. By opting for this pretty shape, your drink will stay cool but not diluted, assuming you consume it within 15 minutes. (It is ice, after all.)
Plus, you get to control the purity of the ice. Have you ever actually tasted the ice from your freezer? There's a high chance it has picked up a bit of extra flavor. Especially if you're storing garlic or frozen fish-sticks, your ice will know it and so will your drink.
If a Cirrus ice sculpting device seems like too much commitment, there's also the option of ordering five drinks worth of ice from Glӓce Luxury Ice for about $50. Both options are expensive, but if that's in your budget, well, you're keeping the economy going, so more power to ya.
If you want to try before you buy, The Tasting Kitchen has one as does Ten Pound at The Montage, and the folks at Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake are so bad-ass they built their own. Go, now, and drink up.
Follow Rachael Narins on Twitter @chickswknives