Warmer days and sunnier skies are upon us. That means more outdoor gatherings, more entertaining to be done, and more glasses to be filled. I came across DIY flavored ice cubes about one year ago when dining at what once was the Hotel Griffou in NYC. They were so beautiful and so fun that I just had to learn to make my own at home. These are great for large or small gatherings – for larger groups I will make 10+ trays and store the flavored ice in a large glass container with a lid in the freezer the night before. These are simple to make and compliment everything from water to lemonade to sangria. Pop these babies in your A-Mason Mug and sip away!
Here are a few recipes for you to enjoy. Trying this at home? Have a flavor you recommend? Let us know in the comments below…
Thyme Ice Cubes (Hotel Griffou, NYC)
Flavor: A pungent but mixable wave of the herb’s oils.
How to pair it: Drop into a mix of Linie aquavit, Luxardo limoncello, and Hoegaarden wheat beer for a Northern European spin on the shandy.
Recipe: 3 five-inch fresh thyme sprigs and 2 cups water.
Using sharp scissors, cut away the horizontal dividers in a silicone ice mold, leaving three elongated sections. Place a sprig of thyme in each section, fill with water, and freeze. Makes 3 ice spears.
Berry Nice (Rachel Ray)
For a creative way to use those summerime berries, try this: Fill an ice cube tray halfwway with pureed raspberries then freeze. Top with milk, then freeze again. Serve in a fruit smoothie.
Lavender Ice Cubes
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.