Friday, June 3, 2016


Remember when people used to worry that we might be entering a new Ice Age and that the earth would become some giant ice-clad marble hurtling through space?  Well, I guess that’s one thing we don’t have to fret any more.

Yes, I’ve been thinking about ice – not planets but spheres – ever since I saw a bartender in Tokyo place a ball of completely transparent ice into a glass before pouring whisky over it: maximum surface area, minimum dilution.  At the time I thought the guy had carved it by hand from a giant block, using an ice pick, but I can’t actually guarantee that’s the case.  He may have been using a machine like this:

Since I don’t imagine myself to be much of an ice carver, and since I can’t afford one those machines – they cost about a thousand dollars - I bought a couple of moulds made by the Tovolo company.

They’re pretty much foolproof and it’s easy to get obsessed and fill the freezer up with spheres.  There are also tricks you can play: making the spheres hollow, then filling them with booze or smoke or aspic.

As you see in the pics, my spheres are by no means transparent and there are a few online sources debating how you achieve transparency, but I decided to go for minimum transparency and added food dye – black of course – for all your gothic cocktail needs.

And here’s the beauty part - put a black ice sphere into a clear liquid, say vodka, and it starts to “bleed.” Delicate black tendrils swim out into the booze.

But that doesn’t last, and before long the vodka is as black as your soul.

Monsieur Huysmans would have lapped it up.

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