The easiest way to add watermelon to really any drink: make a vodka lemonade and add in some watermelon ice cubes, Barrangou says. Your spring entertaining just got way easier.
1 small seedless whole watermelon
Cut watermelon in 1/2 through the center, and cut each 1/2 into sections. Remove red watermelon flesh from the rind, discarding rind and adjacent white flesh. Chop 2 1/2 cups of red watermelon fruit cubes, place in a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth. Pour purée into freezer trays and freeze. Yields 15, 1-ounce cubes.
A rainbow of drinks, indeed. Barrangou shares how to make these colorful drinks, by layering different fruit purées into freezer trays. What fruits should you use? Cherries (red), apricots (orange), peaches (yellow), kiwis (green), and blueberries (blue). Create individual fruit purées, then layer purées into each cube slot in the freezer tray, one teaspoon at a time. Freeze to create a rainbow fruit cube. With some soda water, you’ve got yourself a colorful and fruity drink in no time.
You can also add in full fruit slices to the ice cubes for a fruity drink. Celebrations.com advises to cut fruit into wedges small enough to fit into a single ice cube cell. Mix and match fruits to your liking, or if you are making a cocktail, according to the drink’s ingredients. (And don’t be afraid to try herbs in ice cubes, too: basil, mint sprigs, and rosemary can make a nice addition to your drink.) Fill cells about 3/4 of the way full with spring water and freeze for about 1 to 2 hours or until completely set.
Try this Honey Lemonade with Fruit Ice Cubes Recipe:
1-1/2 cups lemon juice
3/4 cup honey
9 cups water
28 small pieces assorted fruit and berries
Combine lemon juice and honey in a large pitcher; stir until honey is dissolved. Stir in water. Place 2 pieces of fruit in each compartment of 2 ice cube trays. Fill each compartment with honey lemonade and freeze until firm. Chill remaining lemonade. To serve, place frozen fruit cubes in tall glasses and fill with lemonade. Makes about 8 servings.
From mixologist Johnny Swet (the owner of Rogue & Canon and JIMMY at The James in New York City), a lavender flavored ice cube adds great flavor for spring-themed gin drinks and surprisingly paired with bourbon and bourbon-based cocktails. Boil water with 3 to 4 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers, and let it stand 5 minutes. Then, fine strain into your ice cube molds. If lavender is in season, place a fresh lavender flower in mold, and freeze solid.
Swet also advises how to add some citrus to your drinks: lemon. Rather than throwing in a lemon slice, take 1 part fresh lemon Juice and 1 part water and mix it together. Pour the lemon-water mixture into molds, and sink a round lemon slice in each mold. Then, freeze solid and add to your vodka cocktails, like a Tom Collins ora spiked iced tea.
Sounds a little out there? Imagine a lettuce ice cube in your Bloody Marys, says Swet -- especially a “BLT” Mary with bacon-infused vodka.Take green bibb lettuce and puree in a mixer with water, and then fine strain. Pour the mixture into molds and freeze.
Just imagine the possibilities with these cinnamon ice cubes — use them for a spicy kick to your summer fruity cocktails, and these ice cubes will rescue any drink. At Chicago hot spot Drumbar, mixologist Craig Schoettler uses his cinnamon ice cubes for the PEARED cocktail — check out the recipes for both the cinnamon ice cubes and drink.
Recipe for PEARED, by Craig Schoettler for Drumbar
2 ounce Grey Goose Le Poire
3/4 ounce fresh lemon Juice
1 ounce fresh orange Juice
1/4 ounce ginger syrup
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Shake, strain over cinnamon ice. Express lemon peel and discard.
Ingredients for cinnamon stock
17 ounces water
1 ounce ground cinnamon
¾ ounce cayenne
Bring water to a boil, add cinnamon and cayenne. Let steep for 35 minutes. Strain. Freeze in 2-inch by 2-inch silicone ice cube mold.
Negroni Ice Cubes Recipe
2 ice cube trays (one for Aperol ice cubes, one for sweet vermouth)
Fill up 2-inch ice cube trays halfway with Aperol or sweet vermouth, and fill the ice cubes to the top with water.
Add one Aperol ice cube and one sweet vermouth to 2 ounces of gin and create a Negroni; add one Aperol ice cube and one sweet vermouth ice cube to 2 ounces of bourbon for a Boulevardier.