Ice matters. Using the right size and shape can enhance a drink's flavor. As it turns out, ice can also greatly up a drink's artistic value. Beam Suntory—makers of Yamazaki Single-Malt Sherry Cask (the reigning best whiskey in the world), among many wonderful liquids—just won an award for frozen water. Beam Suntory, along with agencies TBWA and Hakuhodo, took home a lotus trophy last month from the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival for the ice. They used a technique that is sometimes called 3-D subtraction—a sort of reverse 3-D printing—that takes digital models and feeds them into a machine that automatically chisels out amazingly intricate shapes. The project, called 3D on the Rocks, transformed small blocks of ice into everything from an astronaut to a detailed Buddhist temple.
The company made the ice with free 3-D modeling software, which means that aspiring makers might be able to recreate their own ice art. If you do, just make sure to finish your drink quickly. You don’t want a tiny copy of Jaws watering down your single malt. Check out some of the best designs below.