The Weird Affinity Between ZU Vodka and Cocchi Americano
Joel Baker to Take On Tres Tequila Lounge in San Francisco

A Clear Ice Ball Maker You Can Buy

One difficulty with the Igloo Cooler method of making clear ice is that you get a great big block of ice at the end and have to cut it up into usable cubes yourself. I developed an ice cube tray using plastic boxes that gets the ice into long rectangles, and that's a bit closer to ideal. 

  • Ice cube tray
  • Ice block
Ice block



But if the desired result is round clear ice balls, we need to either produce a mold that fits inside the cooler, or else carve out ice balls afterwards.  

Well, it turns out that someone produced such a mold to make clear ice balls one at a time, using the same principles as the Igloo cooler method. 

Alcademics reader Todd pointed me to this ebay listing for a clear ice ball maker from Japan.




As you can see, it's an insulted tube that holds a circular ice ball mold inside of it, along with extra space below the ice ball.

The important thing to note is that the ball mold is perforated. This allows any air and impurities in the water to get pushed out of it, towards the bottom of the mold, as it freezes. In other posts here on Alcademics, we've discussed that's how you'd need to build the mold in order for it to work. 




It only makes one at a time, but it's pretty cool. The only not cool thing about is is the price: It's for sale at $97.60 each! 

I still kinda want one. 

An index of all of the ice experiments on Alcademics can be found here



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I want a few, but damn...those are crazy expensive!!!

Camper English

Yeah I've been thinking about how to poke holes in a regular ice ball mold and submerge it in my cooler for a homemade version.


Who dared to insult the tube? Bring me this scoundrel!

Jesse Torres

I'm headed to Japan next month and I'm going to see if I can find these. I'm sure they are way cheaper than the eBay listing. If they are, I'm getting extras!

Camper English

If they're not too expensive you should buy all you can fit in your suitcase. I'm sure you could resell them to all us cocktail geeks. (And just remember where you heard about it HINT HINT.)

Greg Lindgren

Hey Camper,
I brought a couple of these back with me. I think they have a large and a smaller one.
We tried it out at Rye, but then stuck it on the shelf because it didn't work as well as advertised. The top with the hole causes bubbling and fracturing so the thing is not quite perfectly spherical. If you want to try it out, let me know. And yeah, I think I paid about $20 at Tokyu Hands for it.


Do you still have the cube maker? Love to give it a try and see how well it works. Thanks, Tom



Hi all,
do you know the Japanese name of the maker?

If we know what to search for, getting it from or rakuten should be a breeze.

Not everyone can afford a trip to Japan :(

Alex Ruzza

Have you tried waterballoons?

Alex R

Camper English

But of course!

Benjamin Tran

As a Time traveler from 2020, what the hell are these prices.... Stay tuned for 2021!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)