We admit it — we were a bit surprised to find out that ice cubes may be one of the most searched-for recipe terms on Google. After all, when did ice cubes get fancy? When did ice become an integral part of your drink? But with the innovative ice cube trays that are coming out (yes, even a Star Wars one), we shouldn’t be so surprised that ice cubes have become just as intricate and artisanal as the drinks they’re put in.
What we love about these ice cubes is that as they melt away, they end up adding something new and complex to your drink. While we can always advocate for a little bit of a melted ice cube in a whiskey rocks glass (don’t even get us started on the whiskey rocks phenomenon), a watered-down lemonade or cocktail is never delicious. That’s why a little piece of fruit, a little bit of spice (think cinnamon), or even a frozen spirit ice cube (like a vermouth ice cube to make a a Negroni) can make your drink smooth from the first sip to the last. You can even make ice cubes out of your favorite drinks, like lemonade, coffee, and iced tea, to avoid ending up with a watery mess.
A few tips on making these artisanal ice cubes (when you’re not freezing up vampire teeth-shaped ice cubes, of course): your squared-off ice cube trays are going to be the best vessel for these recipes. If you want to get fancy, be sure to use the perfect cubed-shape ice cube trays to get the most elegant, modern shape. And Lisa Barrangou (the author of RealSmart Baby Food), who shares her recipes for watermelon ice cubes and "rainbow" ice cubes, advises to keep a large variety of ice cubes on hand by transferring frozen cubes from freezer trays into freezer storage bags. It’s good to have as many as you can on hand, especially if you’ll be entertaining. Just remember that you won’t want to keep these in the freezer forever; most of the fruit ice cube recipes should be used within the week so that they’re fresh as possible.
Click ahead to find some innovative ice cube recipes that will transform your drink from watery to tasty.