Apart from the beautiful appearance the sphere has the benefit of having the most surface area of any shape. This means that it will cool drinks down more efficiently and also keep it's shape. In Japan, only the best cocktail bars serve ice balls. Whisky connoisseurs wouldn't put anything else in their drinks. Make an impression.
It is almost impossible to make ice balls with a mould. Up until now the only way to achieve a clear ice ball was to carve it by hand using an ice pick. Professional Japanese cocktail barmen are famous for winning awards for creating perfectly spherical ice balls just using a block of ice and an ice pick, until now!
Also from Japan comes the futuristic ice ball mould. Made from a secret alloy it works at body temperature to product a perfect sphere from a block of ice in just a few seconds. Using quality ice the results are outstanding.
Ice balls are produced in three sizes. 30mm, 55mm and 80mm. See how they are made by watching the video below.
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Quality clear ice is also difficult to achieve. Why? Because as ice freezes it does so from the outside edges in. Water contains dissolved oxygen, salts and minerals. As the ice freezes all of these are concentrated in the centre of the block which makes the centre cloudy or opaque. Trapped bubbles of oxygen can also spoil the result although they can also be attractive, depending on what the desired effect is.
Ice Balls Prices?
The price per ball is based on a number of things:
1. The size of the balls required.
2. The number of balls required.
3. Whether you want just the balls delivered or want to make them yourself.
4. If you want to make them yourself whether you want us to also supply hand made ice with natural bubbles, mineral marbling etc, or clear ice, all cut to approximate size.
An approximate quote for 200 x 30mm balls would be £1.50 per ball + delivery and Vat.
To hire the 30mm ice ball machine and 200 chunks of clear ice would be approximately £400 + delivery and Vat, hand made ice = £500 + Vat.
100 x 80mm clear ice balls would cost £6 per ball + delivery and Vat.
Natural hand made ice takes approximately three weeks to make and prepare. Clear ice balls can usually be delivered within seven days. Deliveries at busy times (Saturdays) in the summer may not be possible in areas more than 25 miles from our base due to serving local customers first.
How do you make clear ice?
There are many methods but none of them produce 100% clear ice. The clearest ice in nature is an icicle. This is made from pure water that already has it's oxygen taken out because it is made from melting snow. The snow melts at around 1c and runs down the icicle before being frozen again at freezing temperatures. The water is frozen in layers giving almost perfectly clear results. The method is time consuming and difficult to reproduce in commercial environments.
Some ice merchants use filtered water and boil it, twice, before freezing it very slowly at temperatures between -1c and -3c. This is good but again not perfect.
Another way which probably produces the clearest ice and is used by many industrial ice making processes. In the USA large ice blocks are produced and while the block is frozen air is bubbled low pressure using a tube running to the middle of the block. This bubbling allows all the problems to be carried away. Just before the centre on the block freezes the tube is withdrawn and water is poured into the escape run. This method produces ice that is approximately 97% clear.
We can provide ice cubes and blocks up to 1000 x 500 x 250mm in size.
Prices on application and lead times vary.
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