The Thing: a Japanese ice-maker that ensures your next drink will have some serious balls
In ice, as in everything, there is an ideal form. Contrary to what cheap plastic ice trays and automated ice machines would have you believe, that form is not a cube. It’s a sphere. Round ice has less surface area than square ice, which means it melts more slowly—it’ll chill your whiskey without diluting it before you’ve had a chance to down it. The problem is that a perfect sphere is almost impossible to mould in the freezer—blame it on the properties of liquid and the forces of gravity, which not even the most ambitious artisanal imbiber can tame. But there is a solution: a novel Japanese ice maker that melts a square peg into a round hole. The two anodized aluminum halves, when soaked in hot water, gently warm ice cubes into submission in about 30 seconds, leaving one-inch ice balls in their place. $300. Williams-Sonoma, 100 Bloor St. W., 416-962-9455.