Some time ago I bought a rubber (alright, synthetic rubber) mold for making ice balls. Nice, big, spheres of frozen water. Great for chilling a drink and diluting it only slowly. For what it’s worth, I also have in my possession steel spheres for NOT diluting a drink, but only chilling it. I find I use these very seldom. Mainly, I forget about them. That and I tend to make drinks that are not “AND” drinks. That is, I do not do Rum AND Coke, Scotch AND water, Scotch AND Soda. I might on occasion have a Gin & Tonic. But most of my cocktails are potent liquor, with modifiers, and there is no mixer as such. Thus, some dilution is a Good Idea.
I tried, for a while, to make truly clear or transparent ice with the molds. And nothing truly worked. I tried distilled water. I tried boiled water. I tried water boiled twice. I tried distilled water that had been boiled twice. I tried such with a setup that supposedly would slow the freezing to let any gasses escape. Nothing really worked. An insulated setup to really slow the freezing down might help, but there is only so much room in the freeze and I prefer the freezer to mainly filled with actual food.
It is a big deal? No. The point is to have a cold drink, and that happens whether I use steel, ice spheres, or the crescent-like “cubes” from the fridge’s ice-maker. A truly transparent sphere of ice would be a ‘neat trick’ and might be impressive in presentation, but I make the drink for myself, or maybe $HOUSEMATE, and we aren’t hosting any cocktail parties or such. Heck, if we wanted to impress any guest we might ever be likely to have, and they drank, we’d offer them single-malt scotch (Over time, there’s been a small accumulation. I like Islays and $HOUSEMATE prefers anything NOT peaty – claims peaty means “Band-Aids”) and ice wouldn’t come into the equation.
Still, I’d like to get a truly transparent sphere of ice at least once, if only to prove to myself that I can do it. Do I need impressive or showy ice? NO! Just like I have no need of doing silly things like setting a drink on fire. Though I did one ignite a small amount of 190 proof rectified spirits to see the flame such as it was.
As others have managed it, I know it IS possible. Just that the set-up I have isn’t doing it. Perhaps if I had a thermoelectric setup (Peltier junction) and a microcontroller… but that seems going to extremes for what really might well be a one-off. And, really, does anyone REALLY care about ice clarity? Alright, anyone who has real work to do and isn’t some poseur?