Three Words: Japanese Ice Balls.

Three Words: Japanese Ice Balls.


We’ve covered ice before, but it’s never looked like this.

Check it out: With these unique molds, you can make enormous, completely spherical balls of ice, pattered after the hand-carved ice balls that apprentice bartenders in Japan are forced to create.

With these special ice trays, you don’t need a chisel to create the orbs. Just fill up the bottom part of the mold with water, put the top half of the mold on it, then use a thin stream of water to fill the mold the rest of the way. That’s a tricky proposition, actually — and water gets all over the place during the fill process — but after all the work to get these things made (and, another challenge, out of the mold) the results are quite striking.

You probably won’t make these ice balls every day, but if you’re trying to make a special impression with a cocktail, it’s worth the effort.

The price, alas, is a little nutty for a couple of little pieces of plastic: 16 bucks gets you a set of two (enough for four ice balls).

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Mark on April 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    In Vancouver, a bar named Uva has been using these for a while with their whisky/whiskey servings when ice is requested. Crazy big. but the glasses they choose + size of the ball o ice mean the measure of whisky is almost exactly to half the vertical high of the ice ball. Looks very cool.

  2. Kip on May 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

    These are nothing my friend. Have you seen the Taisin mold? UNBELIEVABLE

  3. Merlin on November 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

    The easy way to fill this is actually fill the lower half fully with water, then gently press the top half on and the excess water will displace through the holes in the top of the ball molds.
    Taisin “Aisumorudo” or ice-mold (i have several from a few years ago) is excellent. I ran it through a design agency too and guess what… it turns out to be derivative technology from plastic injection moulding. The Aisumorudo is made from spun aluminium and can have many different shapes – diamonds, spheres, multiple balls in a single mould etc.

  4. Frederic on December 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Just ordered a set! Thanks for posting!

    I was looking into another brand but didn’t want to have it shipped over from Asia.

  5. Janis on June 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hi – Just seen Japanese Ice balls ( uk tv programme) I need a mold…..can you supply to the UK???

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