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If you’ve enjoyed a cocktail at a fancy hotel bar or other upscale establishments, you’ve likely come across the perfectly round ice spheres bartenders frequently use for spirits and cocktails. There are several reasons for this—it keeps your drink cold without diluting it and affecting the flavor, and it looks very pretty while doing it.
There are many different kinds of ice molds available for you to use at home, with variations on features like how many cubes each makes, the shape of the cubes, and ease of use. We spoke to some ice experts to get their takes on some of the best options you can purchase, and sorted through different criteria for you to consider. The Houdini Tray Ice Mold came out on top thanks to its simplicity and ease of use.
We've gathered a list of the top spherical ice cube molds you can buy now.
Best Overall: Houdini Tray Ice Mold
Simple to use
Only makes four cubes
Inexpensive and easy to find online for purchase, the Houdini tray ice molds make mid-sized balls of ice perfect for a rocks glass with a single spirit or for a cocktail to be savored.
“Houdini is the best for me,” says Tiffanie Barriere, The Drinking Coach. “Easy to pop out, and the solid and thick silicone keeps your ice in the perfect shape while freezing. They are easy to wash and easy to stack.”
These food-grade silicone ice molds are BPA-free and are also multipurpose. You can use these molds for all kinds of candy making or baking as well.
Best Budget: Glacio Large Sphere Ice Mold Tray
Calcium build-up is possible (but you can clean with vinegar and water)
“I have had personal experience with a brand called Glacio, and can attest to its functionality,” says Deke Dunne, bar director at Allegory at the Eaton Hotel in D.C.
One tray makes four 2.5-inch spheres, enough for a round of drinks with a few friends, and the perfect sphere shape means slow melting and less dilution of your drink.
Best Silicone: Chillz Extreme Ice Ball Molds
Easy to wash
Might make cloudy ice
“Personally, I like to use individual ice molds, such as Chillz Extreme Ice Ball Mold,” says Dunne. “I like to prop them up in a cooler and freeze them that way. I can fit up to six ice molds if the cooler is big enough. If you drill a hole in the end of the mold that doesn't have a hole, you'll get perfect directional freezing all the way through. No air bubbles or cloudy build-up.”
This set of four individual sleek black ice molds are made of BPA-free silicone that can be used over and over again without cracking. These also make 2.5-inch spheres that fit nicely into a large Old Fashioned or rocks glass.
Related: The Best Ice Cube Trays in 2021
Best Tray: W&P Peak Silicone Sphere Ice Tray
Easy to use
Might be hard to stack - covering the top hole can affect quality of ice
This mold from W&P Peak—a cult fave among consumers—will make four perfectly round ice spheres that are easy to store and pop right out of the tray for use.
Want to up your cocktail game? Try mixing herbs like mint or edible flowers into the water before freezing to create beautiful ice spheres with a pop of flavor and color.
Best Single (Large): Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds
Makes good size ice
Doesn’t take too long to freeze
Each mold makes one cube, so you’ll have to buy a few
These sphere ice molds from Tovolo are incredibly simple with a no-fuss design that provides great results with each use. Just fill with water, freeze, and you’ll have the perfect ice spheres for whatever drink you wish to use them in.
BPA-free, with a bottom made from durable sturdy plastic, these molds can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. While this set comes with two dishwasher-safe molds, you’ll likely want to buy a few, so you will have enough ice when entertaining friends or family.
Best for Whiskey: Arctic Chill 2.5 Inch Sphere Ice Mold
Keeps odors out of ice
Doesn’t take up much space
Each mold only makes two cubes
Slightly more expensive than other brands
If you want to chill your whiskey without diluting it too much or affecting the flavor, these ice molds from Arctic Chill are a good choice. Each set makes two 2.5-inch perfectly spherical cubes, which melt slowly meaning your dram will stay cold but never lose its flavor.
These are easy to clean after use and don’t take up much space in your freezer, meaning you can keep a few ready for your next party. Pro-tip: make sure not to overfill these trays with water. Leave room for expansion as water freezes over time.
Related: The Best Whiskey Stones in 2021
Best Easy-Release: Ice Genie Ice Maker
Makes up to 24 cubes at a time
Easy to release cubes
Does not make perfect spheres
Takes up some space in your freezer
The best thing about this ice cube maker from Ice Genie is that it makes up to 24 half-sphere cubes that are incredibly easy to release from the mold. The cubes are on the smaller side and are not perfect spheres, but this mold essentially takes the place of 4 conventional ice cube trays and can provide ample ice to use any time you need it.
Just squeeze the outer chamber to pop out the ice, and you can store the cubes in the inner chamber in your freezer or on a counter while you entertain. While this ice maker creates 24 spheres, it can hold up to 72 traditional ice cubes.
Best Unconventional Shape: LiyuanQ Ice Cube Trays
Makes six cubes in one tray
Fun shape that is still a sphere
Ice might not be totally clear
Can be difficult to remove from tray immediately after removing from freezer
These silicone molds make spherical ice with little spikes all over them, a fun conversation starter when you serve a drink with one of these floating inside. The molds are also really easy to fill because each has a little funnel on top that allows water to be poured inside without spilling. Also, there are buckles along the side, so once you fill and snap close this will not spill inside your freezer.
This food-grade silicone mold creates 2 inch large-diameter spheres and can also be used to freeze juice and other liquids.
Houdini (view at Amazon) is the best option for an affordable and reliable spherical ice mold. The cubes pop out easily, the silicone is BPA-free, the shape is nearly a perfect sphere, and you can stack them in your freezer to save space.
What is the key to perfect round ice?
To get good ice cube spheres, make sure to fill each mold completely with water. Be sure to keep them upright in your freezer, and allow sufficient time to freeze; the results will be worth it.
Are these dishwasher-safe?
Most of the silicone molds are indeed dishwasher safe, making cleaning them and removing any unwanted odors that might come from other things in your freezer very easy.
Can you fill with other liquid?
You can fill ice molds with other types of liquid or soft food if you’d like, such as baby food, yogurt, or mashed up fruit to freeze and enjoy at a later time. And since most are dishwasher safe, it’s easy to clean and use for ice once you are done with them.
What size is best for drinks?
Generally, spheres that are about 2 inches in diameter are good for using in drinks or a glass of whiskey. This allows enough surface area to melt slowly and not over-dilute your beverage.
What to Look For
BPA-free silicone that’s graded to use for food is the standard, so that is mostly what you’ll find. Some are made of plastic, however, so make sure you are paying attention to the material if you are concerned about this.
Freezer space is limited for most of us, but most of these molds are small enough to store without having to sacrifice space. Some come in tray form, others as single molds that you can stack.
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Jonah Flicker is an experienced writer who has been covering spirits and traveling the world visiting distilleries for many years. His work has appeared in many different national outlets, covering trends, new releases, and the stories and innovators behind the spirits. His first love remains whiskey, but he is partial to tequila, rum, gin, cognac and all things distilled.
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