Like it or not, the end of summer is just around the corner, and although you may be doing your best to cool down, the greatest way to beat the heat is with some ice. If you’re sick of the plain cubes waiting for you in your freezer, why not spice things up with these 12 flavored ice cube ideas? We’ve got a list of options that can be put in everything from coffee to alcohol or simply thrown in a glass of water for an exciting new way to get your 8 glasses a day.
When people think of summer drinks, it’s the liquid they’re focused on, but even if you’re just going to freeze plain water, it can be nice to get the cubes crystal clear instead of frosty white. To get translucent cubes, make sure you filter the water and then heat it up before you cool it down. Many experts recommend boiling the water twice before pouring it into the trays, which releases all of the gasses and impurities from the water.
Once the water is in the tray, cover it with plastic wrap or put a plate on top of the tray to make sure nothing enters the ice. This method will not only ensure your cubes will be crystal-clear, but it will also give you longer-lasting cubes. Why? Frosty ice that has not been boiled is often filled with impurities, causing it to melt faster.
Also, unless you’re planning to crush your ice for a blended drink, bigger is better. Larger, solid ice chunks guarantee controlled melting which will save you from an excessively watered-down drink. And you can forget those heart and star-shaped trays. Although they might look adorable, they won’t stay that way for long, and your cutesy cubes are more likely to liquefy quicker than a traditional block.
Some of the ice cube options here will melt and add a little extra to your drink, while others just look pretty. Either way, with nothing more than a little chopping, they’re all easy to make. Crazy colors and candy fillings help transform predictable drinks, making these ice cubes ideal for beach-time fun with the kids, BBQs with friends, or even theme parties.
Want a sweet treat in your deep freeze? Freeze gummy candies (bears, worms) in lemonade, soda, or even plain water for an adorable cube that makes any summer mocktail a little more fun.
Coffee or Tea Ice Cubes
Brew tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate to freeze in trays. Add cinnamon, cardamom, or cloves to enhance things, or simply freeze those last few sips of your morning tea or coffee to create a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up.
Sophie Rosenblum is a native New Yorker with a passion for Texas. Her writing on food and travel has appeared in Spoon Magazine and the Houston Press. She will eat anything, but she especially loves finding innovative vegetarian restaurants while traveling with her husband. Follow her on Twitter @sophierosenblum