A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative from Arctic Chill Products, asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products. They had seen my Tinto de Verano post, and thought I’d be a good fit for their Arctic Chill Ice Ball Maker (see, I knew all those Thirsty Thursday posts were a good idea!). I’m guessing their thought process in deciding to reach out to me went something like this: “Well, this girl clearly likes to drink. Look at all those cold summer drinks with ice in them! Wonder if she’d use a super awesome gadget that makes giant ice balls?”
As it happens, I actually already owned a set of ice ball makers (and a tray for extra large ice cubes, because it’s me, and I have a shopping problem). But, I hardly ever use them because they’re sort of a pain. They come in two hard-plastic halves – you have to fill one half with water up to a certain point, then very carefully lower the other half on top to avoid spillage, and stick everything in the freezer to get icy. Once the ice ball is ready, you have to run the whole thing under water to detach the ice from the plastic so that you can get it out. I always manage to over-fill mine, so everything freezes shut and it takes forever to get the ice out. Like I said – a pain.
I’ll tell you what’s not a pain, though – these Arctic Chill Ice Ball Makers. They come in a pack of 4, and are made from BPA-free silicone, which means they’re nice and flexible. I could tell right away that it would be much easier to get the ice balls out of these. And, unlike my original ice ball makers, you fill these with water from a hole in the top (see picture above). So instead of struggling to put the two halves together once they’re already full of water, with these you put the halves together first, then add water. Much easier, and a lot less opportunity for spillage.
Then, once the ice is ready, you just twist the two halves apart and scoop/pop the ball right out – the silicone material is stretchy, so you can easily get a finger in the side to help get the ice out. No need to run anything under water for any amount of time. The whole process really could not have been easier, which for an uber-lazy person like me is AWESOME. And, the resulting ice balls are so cool-looking and melt much more slowly than average ice cube. I might not use them as much in the winter, since it’s not the greatest season for cold drinks, but I can already tell that I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of these ice ball makers next spring/summer. Thanks, Arctic Chill!
Of course, just because it’s not summer any more doesn’t mean I can’t get any use out of these awesome, giant ice balls I’ve now got hanging out in the freezer. I am always on the hunt for tasty cocktail recipes, and will use any excuse I can think of to justify making/drinking them.
For example – I’ve got all these ice balls in the freezer, better use them before they get too icy (is that a thing?). And is that a gallon of apple cider in the fridge? We’ll never drink all of that (we probably will)! Better whip up an apple-cider based cocktail so all that yummy apple goodness doesn’t go to waste. So you see, this recipe is both seasonally appropriate and cost effective. It’s in the best interests of all parties that I make/drink it.
Shockingly, I did not already have an apple cider cocktail recipe in my archives. We usually leave the boozy apple cider drinks to our friend Brad, who makes the most amazing (and lethal) mulled apple cider. He’s making it again soon, and I’m SO EXCITED about it. I’ll have to share that recipe with you guys some day. It’s amazing.
It’s also hot, which would not be great for my giant ice balls. So, I turned to FoodGawker for inspiration. Lots of people had really tasty sounding apple-cider based cocktails, but I was really drawn in by Verses From My Kitchen‘s gorgeous photos. If something looks that tasty, it must surely be that tasty…right?
In this case, the cocktails really were as tasty as the pictured. Tangy-sweet, well-balanced, slightly fizzy, and full of apple cider-y goodness. You can hardly taste the alcohol at all, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Mostly a good thing. And, they’re somehow totally seasonally appropriate even though it’s not cold-drink season anymore. Maybe I should whip up a batch of this stuff next weekend and challenge Brad to a head-to-head battle?
** This is a sponsored post; however, all opinions are my own.
ARCTIC CHILL ICE BALL MAKER GIVEAWAY
The folks at Arctic Chill have generously offered to give a set of their awesome ice ball makers to one lucky (and randomly selected) reader. You’ll love it, I promise!
- To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment telling me what you would use your giant ice balls for.
- To earn up to FIVE bonus entries, do one (or all!) of the following and then come back and leave me separate comments below telling me what you did:
(1) Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS feed (if you are already subscribed, leave a comment saying that!).
(2) Like Just Putzing Around the Kitchen on Facebook.
(3) Follow Just Putzing Around the Kitchen on Twitter.
(4) Follow Just Putzing Around the Kitchen on Instagram.
(5) Pin any drink pic from this post onto Pinterest.
- Giveaway will end at 5pm next Friday, October 31 (Halloween!). Winner will be notified by email.
Congratulations to Sarah, winner of the giveaway!
- 1 cup dark rum
- 3 ounces lemon juice
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 1-1/2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup club soda
- 8 dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Apple slices, garnish
- To make simple syrup, combine ½ cup sugar and 1 water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat and place the syrup in the fridge to cool.
- Place all the ingredients in a large picture or carafe with ice and stir.
- Place an ice ball into your glass, and an apple slice on the rim.
- Fill glasses with your apple cider cocktail mixture.
(Recipe very slightly adapted from Verses From My Kitchen)