About this project
We have spent the last 12 months listening to our backers and the community to understand how to build on the success of the Ice Baller and create another truly innovative and essential tool for any home or commercial bar. Today we are very excited to announce the Ice Chest!
The Ice Chest is an easy-to-use device that will make four 60mm (2.36") diameter crystal clear ice spheres (or cubes with additional mold) at once from tap water in your home freezer- plus it features a unique modular design to accommodate additional ice shapes and sizes in the future.
One of the reasons we are so excited about the Ice Chest is that we were able to incorporate a lot of feedback from our customers into the design. Specifically, we increased the output to four ice balls, made it modular to support other ice shapes, reduced the height, and made it super easy to use.
- Slim form (length and width are less than a standard ice cube tray)
- Measures approx. 6 7/8"H x 4 7/8"W x 12 3/4"L
- Built-to-last with lightweight materials:
Silicone rubber, BPA-free plastic, & EPE foam
- Easy ice ball removal
- Modular design to accommodate future mold shapes/sizes
What do all of the best bars in the world have in common? Their bartenders carefully consider the four components of a great cocktail: liquid, glassware, garnish, and ice.
Excellent bartenders have a great appreciation for ice. Charles Joly was the 2013 American Bartender of the Year and is the Beverage Director at one of the top rated bars in the country- Aviary in Chicago. He says...
The best bars actually have formal "Ice Programs" to create clear ice blocks that they can cut it into the right shapes for cocktails. The machines to make these blocks can cost $5,000+ so they are limited to high volume commercial bars and not suited for home use- plus carving up all that ice is a lot of work!
Do you want to go through all of the trouble concocting the perfect drink only to serve it up in a plastic cup with a dried out lime slice and a few half-melted shards of ice? Me neither.
The surface area to volume ratio of an ice sphere is less than a cube of the same volume, which means that the outside of the sphere comes into contact with less of your drink and significantly reduces the rate of melting/dilution while keeping it ultra cold. In addition, by removing the air bubbles from the ice sphere we have eliminated the risk of it cracking apart in your drink and melting fast.
In our testing, the above benefits result in a single Wintersmiths' ice ball lasting you multiple drinks whereas standard ice cubes of the same volume will often disappear before you are even done your first drink.
You have probably seen other products on the market but rest assured we have tried a lot of the other ice sphere molds out there and have never been able to get a clear result. Here is the outcome of a couple of the more popular models- they are too small or misshapen, and definitely not clear:
Wintersmiths was born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 where we introduced the Ice Baller- a simple device to make large crystal clear ice spheres from tap water in a home freezer. After a business trip to Tokyo we realized that although there were many ice ball presses and molds on the market, there was nothing that could produce clear ice and form a perfect spherical shape at the same time. The first phase of our journey to develop an affordable solution to create a single clear ice sphere is complete and now we are excited to be unveiling another useful tool for your home bar.
The reviews for the Ice Baller have been very positive and we are very grateful to the backers of our first project. Here are just a few of the testimonials:
"If you're a keen home-bar enthusiast, one of these devices really will change your life, it's that excellent."
- Master of Malt, 2012 Whiskey Retailer of the Year
"Wintersmiths Ice Baller is the only contraption of it’s kind that makes perfectly clear, perfectly spherical ice balls."
- The Manual
"There is something immensely satisfying about drinking a cocktail over a perfectly clear spherical ice ball."
- The Cocktail Geek
"If your dad is a fan of bourbon, scotch, or any other spirit that’s best enjoyed on the rocks, he needs an ice baller. But not just any ice baller — he needs the best damn ice baller there is."-Digital Trends
"My new Ice Baller from @Wintersmiths is simply epic. Perhaps my favorite cocktail accessory ever."
- Jon from California
"This thing rocks! Crystal clear and costs a fraction of what other devices do."
- Nicholas from Illinois
"I just got my two Ice Ballers yesterday. They work 100% as advertised. Beautiful ice spheres! Fit perfectly in my rocks glasses. Great product."
- Andy from Texas
We’ve just completed extensive product development and testing, and we are now ready for production. As in all consumer products there is a big upfront investment required to create the molds. We need your help to bring the Ice Chest to market!
Estimated Cost breakdown:
- $38k - Mold Tooling Costs
- $15k - First Production Run Cost
- $10k - Estimated Shipping & Fulfillment Cost
Risks and challenges
There are four things that help to reduce the risk for this project:
This is our second Kickstarter campaign and we learned an enormous amount from our first project that has been incorporated here and will allow us to deliver a great product, on-schedule, to our backers.
2.) The Team
My brother Pat and I have a unique set of skills that enable us to effectively see a project like this across the finish line. We fully understand the timeline, costs, and potential hiccups in the manufacturing process and feel very well prepared.
3.) Personal Investment
We have spent the past several months investing a significant amount of time and money prototyping and perfecting this design and have arrived at an excellent result.
4.) Overall Preparedness
We have created numerous prototypes and conducted many tests to ensure product quality and consistent results. We have also lined up our manufacturing partners and understand their costs and lead times.
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