For awhile I’ve wondered if I could chill my whiskey more effectively, and still avoid diluting it with soapstones or steel balls (yes, they make them for this purpose). Jeremy Anderberg for The Art of Manliness:
The ice ball cooled as well as standard ice cubes, but held that low temperature the longest (even getting cooler, at first). Surprisingly, it melted quicker than the normal-sized ice cubes. It also has a lot of volume — when it’s totally melted, you have a very watery beverage. The other downside is that they simply aren’t very convenient to make. I use the Tovolo molds, which take up a lot of room in the freezer. I only have two molds, which means I can only serve up to two drinks with the ice balls at any given time. There are trays you can use that make giant cubes, which are no different than spheres, other than shape and amount of surface area.
The ice sphere is the largest of additive ice for drinks. It’s a good looking ball of ice, and personally I like them the most for their aesthetic appeal. That said, I usually use regular cubes if I feel like chilling my drink, because, in the end, they are the most practical solution.
Read Jeremy’s article for his complete field test. ∞