It’s August, it’s hot, and you’re thirsty.
Before you open the fridge for your favorite beverage, you’ll likely fill your glass with ice.
And while ice does a great job of keeping your drink cold, it also waters it down, ever so slowly changing deliciousness to blah.
Ice from your refrigerator’s automatic dispenser certainly has its advantages. For one, you don’t have to fill up an ice cube tray. But what you gain in efficiency, you often lose in overall enjoyment of a drink you might otherwise have enjoyed so much more.
I’m not suggesting you have to completely ditch the convenience of regular frozen water ice cubes in favor of something more time-consuming and gourmet, but just as you have an arsenal of ingredients in your cupboard to make the dishes you enjoy, taking a moment or two to create a few flavored ice cubes for some special drinks or cocktails can turn blah into Ahhhhhhhh!
Last year, about this time, I wrote a blog entitled “New Cubes, 8 Recipe Ideas for Untraditional Ice Cubes.”
Not long after it was published, people started telling me how interesting and enticing the whole notion was. Many were surprised by how easy they were to make and that they were not only delicious, but also great conversation starters at parties.
With that in mind, I’d like to share more great New Cube ideas that you might find to be JUST the ticket for any number of occasions this summer and fall.
Each recipe makes a dozen or more cubes. Enough for three or four drinks on the average.
Chocolate Ice Cubes
These cubes are GREAT with Kahlua or Irish Crème. Another variation is to let the mixture cool a bit then add a teaspoon of crushed candy cane to each ice cube cavity before pouring the chocolate mixture into them.
1 Cup Milk
1 TBSP Dark Cocoa
1 TBSP Granulated Sugar
¾ Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Mix together the milk, cocoa and sugar and bring to a scald in a microwave oven.
- Remove the hot milk mixture from the oven and add chocolate chips, stirring until they are completely dissolved.
- Pour into ice cube trays.
Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cubes
Substitute these cubes in place of regular water ice cubes for a more flavorful smoothie. As an additional option, you can add the puree of one ripe banana.
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 Cup Strawberry Puree
1 TBSP Honey or Granulated Sugar (Optional)
- Mix all ingredients together and freeze in ice cube trays.
Very Cherry Ice Cubes
These decorative ice cubes are a festive addition to any drink, but they’re especially beautiful in beverages that are clear enough to show off the embedded cherries.
1 Cup Hot Water
¼ Cup Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Dozen Sweet Cherries, with Stems
- Stir together water, cherry juice concentrate and sugar until thoroughly dissolved.
- Place a single cherry in each ice cube compartment (stem up) and pour in cherry mixture to cover then freeze.
Colorful, delicious, refreshing and a wonderful addition to sparkling water or a rum drink.
3 Naval Oranges
2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
3 TBSP Chopped Fresh Mint
- Peel off rind by hand in large panels. Scrape off the interior white pith of the rind and then dice rind into ¼” squares.
- Poach orange rind squares in water for 3 minutes, discard water then poach again in new water for 3 minutes. Drain off all water and reserve rind pieces.
- Squeeze juice from oranges and stir in sugar until dissolved.
- Place approximately ½ teaspoon of fresh mint and a few squares of the orange rind in each ice cube compartment. Top off with the orange juice mixture and freeze.
Enjoy these tasty cubes and let me know if you’ve created any variations of your own.