15 Fabulous Flavored Ice Cube Ideas
Sure, ice cubes turn cocktail shakers frosty and take a glass of room warm water into a far cooler range, but they never seem to bring much else to the table—er, cup. But add a drop or two of food coloring to water and you'll instantly transform the cubes, giving them a vibrant hue. Another cool option? Add thinly sliced jalapeño peppers to your ice cube trays before they freeze for a spicy icy kick.
You should also think about swapping in citrus juice, tomato juice, and other fruit and vegetable juices in place of water. Not only will they freeze just as well as water, but they can add visual appeal and flavor to a Bloody Mary, margarita, mimosa, and other favorite cocktails. (Be sure to thoroughly wash the ice cube tray in between uses to avoid flavors or colors blending together.)
Slowly infuse a drink with earthy flavor by making ice cubes with fresh herbs. As the ice melts, the herbs will start to float about, creating the most natural green garnish. We prefer using hearty herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or mint, which are less likely to break down and get soggy in water. Or add flower petals, like rose or hibiscus, for a pretty-in-pink cube that will perk up any Mother's Day or bridal shower beverage.
Everyone has a standard ice cube mold at home, but there's nothing more stunning than a giant, perfectly square cube in a neat cocktail. Make your own using this king-sized tray from Tovolo ($8.99, bedbathandbeyond.com). Or make sphere-shaped ice using this epic tray that will surely make you home bartender of the year ($14.95, crateandbarrel.com).
From colorful concoctions to out-of-this-world shapes, these eye-catching ice cube inventions will instantly elevate any drink.
Cucumber "Ice Cubes"
Freeze the fruit in pieces to keep your water, seltzer, or lemonade cold. Halve one English cucumber lengthwise and seed. Cut into two-inch pieces; freeze on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until solid, at least four hours. Transfer to freezer bags to store.
Celery Ice Cubes
Sage Ice Cubes
Spherical Ice Cubes
These pastel ice balls are as easy to make as they are stunning. Mix water with a liqueur such as crème de cassis or Aperol and freeze until solid. Serve in a clear cocktail or soda water to show off the tinted ice.
Floral Ice Cubes
Here's a cool new way to savor the beauty of flowers: freeze them in ice cubes to brighten drinks. Only use edible varieties, blooms such as orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons that have been grown to be eaten.
Coffee Ice Cubes
The first sip is just right, but by the time you get to the bottom of a long, cool glass of iced coffee, you're drinking a watery shadow of your former beverage. If the ice is made from coffee, it won't dilute your drink as it melts.
Citrus Ice Cubes
Here's a non-baking use for your muffin tin: Fill the cups with layers of thinly sliced lemons, limes and oranges, cover with water, and freeze. Add the giant ice cubes to the party punch at your next barbecue.
Lemonade or Limeade Ice Cubes
Freeze fresh lemonade, limeade, or the fruit nectar of your choice in an ice cube tray. Top with sparkling water and lime slices for the most refreshing fruit coolers.
Creepy-crawly ice cubes will make any kid (or playful adult) squirm with delight. All you need is bug-shaped gummy candies, water, and an ice cube tray!
Lemon Verbena Ice Cubes
Fruit Juice Ice Cubes
Watermelon "Ice Cubes"
Cut watermelon into cubes, place on a baking sheet, and freeze. Serve in vibrant watermelon-basil margaritas—the "ice" will keep the drinks cold and make a great snack.
Cranberry Ice Cubes
Eyeball Ice Cubes
Is it Halloween yet? Even if it isn't, these eyeball ice cubes made of radishes and pimiento-stuffed olives are a delight. Add to martinis for adults and flavored seltzer for kids.