7 Creative Ideas for Flavored Ice Cubes
When planning a menu, you often focus on imaginative and delicious foods and beverages. But have you ever considered getting creative with ice cubes? You can customize ice cube creations to suit any beverage: water, seltzer, cocktails, and even milk. Making custom ice cubes is a simple way to add flavor and flair to your drinks. No special equipment is necessary, but a silicone ice tray may be a good investment. It's much easier to remove ice from silicone than a traditional tray, and for some preparations, keeping the ice cube intact is an important part of the presentation.
One of the simplest improvements to ice cubes is to use juice in place of water. Juice cubes can jazz up almost any beverage-a cocktail, seltzer, soda, or even simple water. You can achieve a fun, layered effect by choosing 2-4 different juices. Partially fill a tray with one juice and freeze solid. Add the next juice and freeze, and repeat until all juices are used. The effect is a multi-colored cube that creates a fun boost of flavor. Juice cubes would be a really fun option for children, and they could even help with preparation!
Fruit puree ice cubes can be a great option to infuse your beverages with flavor. You can choose a very quick method by simply buying fruity baby food pouches, squeezing them into ice cube trays, and freezing. Alternatively, you can puree your own choices of fruits in your blender at home, put them in an ice cube tray, and pop them in the freezer. Fruit quality does matter, so be sure you are choosing fruits that are very ripe, almost to the point of being overripe. Should you need to add liquids while pureeing the fruit, use fruit juice instead of water to maintain flavor.
For a quick and easy upgrade to ice cubes, consider adding citrus pieces to your ice cubes. If you are using a muffin tin or larger ice cube tray, you can just slice up a lemon, lime, or orange, lay the slice in the bottom of the compartment, add water, and freeze. If your ice cube trays are quite small, you can cut the fruits into more of a dice and follow the same steps. Citrus cubes would be a great addition to water, seltzer, or any beverage you don't mind getting a bit watered down as the cube melts.
Whenever you have leftover coffee, consider pouring it into an ice cube tray! Coffee ice cubes are great for cooling down your hot coffee without watering it down. Alternatively, you can use coffee ice cubes in iced or cold brew coffee for a refreshing caffeine boost on a hot summer day. For a special frozen treat, make your own coffee house style frappé! Put your coffee cubes in a blender, add some coffee, milk, sugar, and flavored syrup, and blend until smooth. Delicious and inexpensive!
Freezing milk for ice cubes is pretty simple. Be sure to check the expiration date before using the milk. Skim and low-fat milk tend to yield the best results. You can use milk cubes for serving White Russians, eggnog, or any milk based drink that needs chilling without being watered down. Chocolate milk ice cubes would be a fun addition to a glass of milk for children and adults! If you like cream in your coffee or tea, tossing a couple of milk cubes can serve a dual purpose by cooling down your beverage and adding creamy goodness.
There are two ways to make herbal ice cubes. You can choose to do a simple infusion by placing a pinch of fresh herbs in each compartment, then filling about a third of the way, freezing, then partially filling and freezing twice more until the tray is full. Another option is to brew tea from the herbs and use it to fill the ice trays. You can add herbal ice cubes to your hot or cold drinks of the same variety to infuse more flavor, or use them to add a completely new flavor. Maybe you'd enjoy celery leaf ice cubes in your Bloody Mary or lavender tea ice cubes in your lemonade!
An unexpected way to add beauty to your beverages is to include flowers in your ice cubes. You'll need to use a very simple layering technique to achieve this effect.
- First, lay your flowers into the ice cube trays.
- Then, fill your ice tray with water only about a fourth of the way full and freeze until solid.
- Remove the ice trays, fill until another quarter of the way, and freeze again.
- Repeat twice more until the ice cube trays are full and completely frozen.
Be sure to use flowers that are specially grown for eating, that have not been sprayed with pesticides. A few options for edible flowers are carnations, honeysuckle, marigold, and roses. Some flowers will also add subtle flavor to your beverage.Whether you're entertaining children, adults, or just enjoying a nice drink for yourself, using creative ice cubes is a break from the ordinary. It's a fun way to add a new flavor or reinforce existing flavors in your beverage. Artistic ice cubes are aesthetically pleasing, and who doesn't love a little more beauty at their table? Take some time today to make up a few batches of these ice cubes to enjoy!