Big ice shape-shifts for holiday cocktails

In a foodie-oriented world of high-end specialty stores selling sophisticated cookware, esoteric gadgets and jars of sauces and marinades you never knew you needed, there’s the more subtle online Trudeau company. Its stock of “innovative quality kitchen products” includes a mill that grinds chiles and a stressless garlic press.

We were looking at the the “Wine & Bar” section at when two items stopped us cold, so to speak. The Ice Sphere Mold and the King Cube Tray make oversized ice rounds and cubes ($14.99 each). The science behind them says that large spheres and cubes melt slower than small ones, keeping drinks from getting watered down before they’re consumed.

The molds looked so cool we decided to spend an afternoon chillin’ with them. Our first batches of ice were big and cold, no surprise. Then we started adding ingredients to the water in the ice molds: slices of orange and lemon and the zest from same, sprigs of mint and rosemary, basil leaves, plump blueberries, green kiwifruit. Like garnish inside the ice, right? The project was becoming more interesting.

Then we stopped using water altogether and began filling the molds with fruit juices — orange, cranberry, pomegranate. Why wouldn’t a sphere of frozen OJ work in a vodka-OJ cocktail, for instance? Or what about mixing passionfruit juice with lime juice and grenadine for a tiki cocktail?

It appears the list may be endless, so we’ll be a while.