You have to hand it to the Japanese who are making art out of drinking your daily dose of tipple. *hic* Suntory Whiskey is a brand that is urging all to enjoy whiskey in a more innovative way. Their “3D on the Rocks” campaign suggests that you savor your whiskey with beautiful ice sculptures, forged with the latest ice milling, drilling and sculpting technology. Move over Bridget Jones, we think we found our bad boy.

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What’s interesting about these small bits of sculpted ice is how it’s all part of an online crowd-sourced campaign. It’s over now, but for a short period, folks submitted their ideas for a tiny 3D ice sculpture via the web or smartphone with ten winners selected to receive an invitation to a secret bar in Tokyo, where they’ll enjoy a glass of Suntory whiskey with their very own custom manufactured ice cube. Before you say sayonara, have a look at how this wee astronaut is being created.

YouTube video

The art of Japanese whiskey includes the finest craftsmanship together with ice made from the freshest spring water. If they can manage to stay sober enough, whilst doing it, entrants created models of their ice idea using Autodesk 123D Catch. Here’s how the process will go for the 10 winning entries:

  • Carv the extents with a large endmill.
  • Add the detail with a smaller endmill.
  • Cut motifs with small parts separately from a main ice cube (ex. a Phoenix of Kinkakuji or legs of horses.)
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the ice cube.

To avoid melting, these video were shot in a studio that had the temperature maintained at -7C degree. Of course, you have all the whiskey you can drink to keep you warm.


Enjoy your drink with the beautiful ice, as a splash of chilled whiskey polishes the surface of the ice and provides that beautiful shine. The total time it takes to craft an ice sculpture varies between 1 and 6 hours, depending on the design. That’s a lot of time, so the makers are considering improvements to shorten the process.


For those who don’t know, SUNTORY is a Japanese brewing and distilling company group. They’ve received the honor of “Distiller of the Year”, an annual award bestowed upon a single distiller to acknowledge the variety and quality of their products. The agency responsible for creating the campaign is creative agency TBWAHakuhodo. 10 custom made ice cubes to promote your whiskey. It’s certainly a beautiful way to do it. But if you don’t have a CNC machine or a -7 degree shop, may we suggest these Firefly Serenity Ice Cubes from Think Geek? Yes, yes we may.