Huge hand-carved ice spheres (together with two-ounce crystal coupettes, silver arm bands, herb tinctures and obscure amari) are perhaps the very epitome of the retro-modern bartending craft movement (whatever that means). Not that we’re knocking any of the these things, mind: some of our favourite drinks are Alice-in-Wonderland-small and Larry-David-bitter.
However, all things must come to an end. Change, so the universe assures us, is inevitable. Even for the iconic hand-carved ice spheres.
As the paired application of technology and humour continues to offer itself as the perfect counter-movement to the historicocentric drinks zeitgeist, behold: the future of the once-humble ice cube.
3D-milled (science: tick), slightly ridiculous (want your ice carved into the Statue of Liberty, an astronaut, a shark, Abraham Lincoln? Tick), infinitely variable (thus definitively bespoke: another tick), and by the very nature of its base material also beautifully impermanent (you just try not being moved by the melting of a perfect ice replica of Michelangelo’s David into your Negroni. Tick).
You can thank Suntory for this little gem – which is another reminder that brands and agencies do sometimes get it right. And then you can try to get one of these beasts into your local not retro-modern-craft but still awesome cocktail local. Y’know, for shits and giggles.