Today’s tip is to make flavored ice cubes. They’re the easiest way to add dazzle to everyday drinks, be they club soda, juice, soft drinks, mocktails or cocktails.
We have long made “party ice cubes” that deliver big impact with no effort beyond freezing a liquid in an ice cube tray.
The benefits of flavored ice cubes:
They don’t dilute the drink as plain ice cubes will.
They add extra flavor(s).
They colors provide visual appeal.
There’s something more to drink when the cubes melt.
You get exercise your inner mixologist.
Coffee & Tea Ice Cubes. They keep iced coffee and tea intensely flavored to the end. You don’t need to specially brew the coffee or tea if you use leftover coffee from the pot or re-brew tea bags or leaves (they may make weaker tea, but are still good for cubes). Herbal tea ice cubes can also be added to a glass of club soda or juice.
Juice For Cocktails. Make cranberry cubes for the Cosmos, pineapple juice for the Pina Coladas, tomato juice for Undiluted Marys. You can make beef bouillon ice cubes for a “Beefy Mary” (a.k.a. Bloody Bull or Bull Shot). Freeze clam juice for a Bloody Mariner/Bloody Caesar.
Carbonated Mixers. Whether tonic water for a G&T or cola cubes for a Rum & Coke, or tonic water, these mixers come with a bonus: You can use the flat soda that often results at the bottom of a large size. But you can create new “sodas” as well. One of our favorite summer combinations is lime soda ice cubes in raspberry soda, for a raspberry-lime rickey.
Wine Ice Cubes. Make them for sangria, or to keep your poolside wine chilled.
Combination Ice Cubes. Add small berries, diced fruit, shredded basil or dill to the cubes: whatever adds to the drink.
OUR FAVORITE WAYS TO USE FLAVORED ICE CUBES
WHAT ABOUT FREEZING FRUIT DIRECTLY?
You can freeze any high-moisture fruit, such as:
They’ll defrost more quickly than frozen liquid, so consider a combination of frozen fruit and flavored ice cubes.
MIX & MATCH CHECKLIST
Soft Drink Mixers
Cola or root beer
Ginger ale/ginger beer
Lemon-lime (7 Up, Sprite, etc.)
Other fruit soda: cherry, grape, orange, etc.
Cream, milk or half and half
Melted ice cream
For Creamy Drinks
Lemonade or limeade
Brine (save the juice from pickles!)
Tomato juice or V–8
Wheatgrass or other vegetable juice
Chocolate Ice Cubes
Coconut Water Ice Cubes
Coffee Ice Cubes
Flower Ice Cubes
Frozen Fruit Ice Cubes
Herb Ice Cubes
July 4th Ice Cubes
Layered Color Ice Cubes
Lemonade Ice Cubes
Strawberry-Thyme Ice Cubes
Tea, Coffee Or Lemonade Ice Cubes
Watermelon Ice Cubes
Wine Ice Cubes
MORE ICE CUBE IDEAS
 Fruit juice ice cubes at Fig & Olive.
 Coffee ice cubes for iced coffee, or any coffee cocktail (Black Russian, White Russian, Espresso-tini, anything with Kahlúa), from the Angelica Kitchen.
 Crushed strawberry and thyme ice cubes at Shari’s Berries.
 A cube of frozen pineapple at Hakkasan | NYC.
 A stack of flavors from from Mihoko’s 21 Grams.
 Mix different fruits in a single ice cube tray (photo © Zespri | Facebook).