Ice cubes are so passé. We’ve already seen them challenged in their drink cooling duties by Sippin’ Rocks and now there's a new threat looming. The Ice Ball Mold transforms an irregular shaped chunk of ice into an icy sphere, which its proponents say are more desirable than cubes because they melt more slowly due to their smaller surface area - thereby keeping your drink cooler and less diluted for longer.

The device doesn’t require any power to run. Briefly heat the top and bottom pieces of the aluminum mold in warm water, place a chunk of ice roughly the right size between the two heavy pieces and then let gravity do the rest. The Ice Ball Mold can apparently churn out 30-40 ice balls an hour, but be sure to use the device over a drip tray of some sort since there is no reservoir in the mold to hold the excess water.

Purveyors of fine Scotch Whisky, Macallan, apparently came across the Ice Ball Mold in Japan and have acquired the exclusive rights to the device for a few years. However, if you’re after one of the devices without the Macallan branding emblazoned across the side they are available from the Japan Trend Shop in 30, 55, 65 and 80mm sizes.

But be warned, ice sphere producing ability doesn’t come cheap. While the 30mm unit is available for a not too unreasonable US$184, the price jumps substantially for the larger sizes. US$1,003 for the 55mm, $1,085 for the 65mm, US$1,113 for the 70mm, and US$1,649 for the 80mm.

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