The Ice Press

Last night I met Clark Ross, the head bartender at the Boiler Room, at the bar on his night off. He’d asked me a couple days before to come in because he had something to show me. Turns out it was cooler than I could have imagined.

It was this contraption. I’d never seen one before, but Clark explained to me that it’s an ice press. It takes a square block of ice sized to fit inside those two rods and using pressure, the top half of the press cuts through the ice block, turning it into a seamless sphere. Clark had a local machine shop make the press — to buy one elsewhere can cost thousands of dollars. This one is custom sized so the ice spheres fit perfectly into the Boiler Room’s glasses.

The point of the sphere of ice, Clark said, is that it’s slower melting than the big square cubes. The surface area melts at a slower pace and at a more even rate, so your drink stays tasty for longer. It also looks super cool.

Here’s a video of a similar press in action.

And another of the ice in action in my drink.

The Boiler Room bartenders are still figuring out how to use the press perfectly, but the new spherical ice is available now at the bar. The Boiler Room is clearly — now maybe more than ever — invested deeply in its craft cocktail program. It’s an exciting thing for Omaha and cocktail aficionados. And even for someone who is not into drinks, it’s still really cool to watch a block of ice turn into a perfect circle in about a minute.

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