I’m not sure when the current fetish for huge ice cubes started, but I’ve been noticing it for a few years now. And when I say I’ve “noticed” it, I mean I’ve seen people touting huge ice cubes on the internet—in real life, the ice cubes I come across are the same size they’ve always been. Perhaps my circle of friends is hopelessly old fashioned.
At any rate, the articles promoting big ice cubes always say they’re superior because they have a low surface area per unit mass. Since melting occurs at the surface of the cube, the low surface area is said to reduce melting and prevent your drink from getting as watered-down as it would if you used the same mass of smaller cubes. The writers of these articles seldom invoke the square-cube law explicitly, but that’s what they’re talking about. In some cases, they go beyond just saying that big cubes melt slower and also claim that they do so while cooling your drink just as much. These claims should be looked upon with a gimlet eye, because the cubes’ melting is what does the cooling.
–an excerpt from a post by Dr. Drang on the excellent leancrew.com blog, where sometimes highly technical stuff gets illuminated and you can learn something