When I was a kid, ice cube trays were pretty basic, and they were pretty good for making cracked ice. No neat cubes, no uniform pieces. The ice cubes from restaurants were so much more ... interesting.
Because they had fancy machines that molded the ice.
Now, you can mold your ice cubes into all sorts of fun shapes. Like balls.
I tested an Ice Ball Tray that makes four 2-inch balls in one tray. It's fairly simple - just fill the bottom tray with water (it's suggested that you use distilled water for clearer ice cubes, but I'm not that fussy) then put the top part on and press down. When water started coming out of the overflow holes on top of the mold, I put my fingers on the holes, kept pressing down, and the overflow went out the sides. Probably not necessary, but it kept water from filling the top of the mold, which made it easier to get the ice balls out later.
Or, you could put the tray together and pour water into the holes. Either way works.
But neither of those things are a big deal. Those smaller, thinner bits will be the first to melt when the balls are in a drink, so people will probably never notice that the balls aren't perfect. They'll just think that you made round ice balls.
Or, if you really need to have perfect rounds, you can run some cool water over the protruding excess pieces to melt them away.
These aren't the biggest ice balls I've seen, but they're a decent size and the mold is easy to use. And you could use it for other things as well, like making round balls of Jello. Why you'd want to do that, I don't know. But you certainly could.
Next time I bake a cake, I'm going to try baking a few ball-shaped cakes as well. It's probably going to be tricky because I'll have to account for the rising cake, and I have a feeling that there will be excess cake around the perimeter of the balls - but even half-rounds or Saturn-shaped cakes could be fun.
Meanwhile, I'm just making plain old ice. With plain water, which makes cloudy ice. And I'm okay with that.
Who's it for: People who want to make quirky ice.
Pros: Not expensive. These are some of the most affordable on Amazon.
Cons: Makes 2-inch balls, so if you're looking for the huge ones, this isn't them. On the other hand, it's a reasonable size that will fit pretty much every glass you have.
Wishes: It would be great to get a 3-pack with different sized molds.
Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.