Hugely popular in recent years at speakeasies and cocktail lounges, large, often solo cubes have become a trademark of an establishment that takes its drinks seriously.
Because it looks cool? Yes – but also, the large, singular ice shape melts at a much slower pace, allowing time for you to, you know, actually enjoy that $12 drink before it's too watered down.
But you can bring that experience to your own cocktails, with these 5 methods, 2 of which don’t require special molds.
These sphere molds come in a pack of two for less than $10. They're giant; over 2.5 inches.
They're the hardest to use. Instead of a flexible silicone shell, it's hard plastic, which requires holding under hot water and squeezing in different places until the ice finally comes out. There's also only 2, limiting your hosting abilities, or seconds; unless you buy more than one pair.
|Ease of Use||★☆☆☆|
This tray creates four 2" spheres, and are relatively easy to remove by dropping it on the counter and pulling the two pieces apart with the side tabs. Four spheres are ready at once.
Because the tray is two pieces, imperfections and excess ice around the middle of the spheres are likely, which will melt faster. These spheres are the smallest of the store-bought solutions.
|Ease of Use||★★★☆|
This silicone tray is by far the easiest to use. No hot water is needed; just peel the tray back until your cube pops out. It also creates the most of the store-bought solutions.
Perhaps the only downside is that the squares are only 2 inches.
|Ease of Use||★★★★|
Create a ton of ice cubes at once with this DIY solution requiring only a muffin pan. Twisting the pan like a traditional ice tray pops the cubes right out. Once frozen, you can dump them in a ziplock bag for storage.
The ice, while adequate, is the smallest of the options. It also requires a good bit of level space in the freezer.
|Ease of Use||★★★★|
This method creates the most unique shapes of the options. It's easy, and any pan you have will do. Simply fill the pan with water, freeze, and break apart with a food mallet or (clean) hammer. The large size allows multiple drinks to be made with the same chunk.
There's a lot of waste. When breaking a sheet of ice with a hammer, you get a lot of small chunks and slush that can't be used. You also have to make sure your iceberg is small enough to fit in your glass.
|Ease of Use||★★☆☆|