So I was flipping through this book that I bought way back when (Playing House by Celeste Perron)--trying to figure out some cute party ideas for a dinner party, and I came across the cutest little recipe for flavoring ice cubes! (The rest of the book wasn't that great, but this section was!) How fun--freezing little bits of fruit or herbs right into your ice cubes!
Not only are they original, but the color adds a bit of festivity, flavor--AND it keeps your cocktail from getting diluted. For all of you out there who know everything about the kitchen--this is a new trick for your bag, and for those who are just getting comfortable with the idea of entertaining more--this will earn you rave reviews!
Here are my top 7 ice cube flavors:
1. Cucumber-Basil Puree- Combine 1 cup water, 1 cucumber (peeled and seeded), 1/4 cup torn basil, and some coarse salt in a blender and freeze in an ice-cube tray.
2. Orange-Lime Mix- Combine 1 1/2 cups orange juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon lime zest in a bowl and freeze in an ice-cube tray.
3. Lemonade Raspberry- Dissolve 2 tablespoons sugar in 1 cup warm water. Stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice. Divide 6 ounces fresh raspberries into an ice-cube tray. Place a sprig of mint in each cube. Add lemonade and freeze.
4. Mojito or mint cubes (my fav!)- Combine 1 part fresh lime juice and 1 part simple syrup, and pour the mixture into ice cube trays. Chop up mint leaves and add a pinch of chopped mint to each cube. Voila!
5. Mandarin Cubes- Chop up mandarin oranges, and place a chunk in each section of an ice cube tray; then fill the tray with orange juice.
6. Grape-Lime Cubes- Combine 1 part water with 1 part fresh lime juice, and pour it into ice cube trays. Dice a mixture of green and red grapes, and place a bit of each into each cube; then freeze.
7. Berry Cubes- Dice a mixture of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Fill an ice cube tray with orange juice, and add diced berries to each cube. Delicioso!
Now what to put them in? To start you out, I found the following pairings on www.squidoo.com:
- Chocolate Martinis: Chocolate, Mint, Coconut, Almond, Hazelnut or Vanilla ice cubes
- Mojitos: Mint or Orange ice cubes
- Screwdrivers: Strawberry or Raspberry ice cubes
- Tequila Sunrise: Orange, Strawberry or Raspberry ice cubes
- Long Island Ice Teas: Lemon or Lime ice cubes
- Margaritas: Strawberry, Lemon or Lime ice cubes
- Bloody Marys with frozen cubes of V8 Spicy Juice
- Tropical Drinks: most any fruit flavored ice cubes (or combinations of different fruit flavors) work well in most tropical drinks
Flavored cubes are especially great for spicing up simple, low-calorie, club soda-based drinks. They make a basic drink more interesting without adding calories and are small on effort, but huge on impact. You can also use contrasting colored cubes to contrast for visual impact--LOVE IT!