Knowing how to make berry ice cubes is a good way to take your summer drinks up a notch! Use up that summer produce in an easy and beautiful garnish for cocktails and mocktails.
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One of the easiest ways to make an impression with a cocktail comes down to the most basic ingredient: ice.
Have you ever noticed that the fancy cocktail bars will freeze a flower in an ice cube, but the cocktail itself isn’t actually that fancy?
It’s true: the wow factor is supposed to be the ice cubes.
That’s what I love about these berry ice cubes, which feature fresh farmers’ market fruits, and will give all your July 4 drinks that same wow factor. Even if they’re just sparkling lemonade!
To be fair, fine cocktail bars put a lot of work into their ice. If you ever noticed that the ice your fridge makes from regular, cold tap water comes out looking cloudy, you’re not alone.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it has everything to do with the water you use. Cocktail purists will go to great lengths to freeze clearer ice.
How to make clear ice at home
I could write an entire post about making clear ice at home, but it’s actually not that hard. So I’ll give you a hint. You need boiling hot water!
First of all, boiling water eliminates impurities from the water, so that’s going to give you a clearer result that what you’d get straight from the tap.
You can also use distilled water, which is already purer than the tap. You can take it a step further and boil distilled water, too. That’s going to give it another layer of clarity.
But the key is the temperature of the water. When you freeze water from a warm temperature, it can actually form faster.
You don’t want to pour boiling hot water into your ice tray. (If it’s plastic, it could melt!) So definitely let it cool down a little.
Then, pour in your hot water, and pop that ice tray in the freezer. When it’s ready, you should have crystal clear ice!
How to make berry ice cubes
Berry ice cubes are an easy way to make drinks stand out.
You can drop them in all kinds of cocktails and mocktails, even just plain water! Sparkling water is one of my favorites for berry ice cubes, and that’s what you see in my pictures here today.
All you need to do is take your ice cube tray (I love these ice trays from OXO) and fill each cavity with your fruits of choice. Then, fill it with the warm water and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.
What kinds of berries can you freeze in ice cubes?
Use fresh, ripe berries. Even better if they’re from your local farmers’ market, but any kind will do.
The choices for berries are many:
- cherries (use a cherry pitter first)
- strawberry slices
Other fruits are also welcome in ice cubes, like grapes and kiwi slices. You can even add a piece of fresh mint, basil or rosemary to your ice cubes for a hint of greenery.
If you like, you can add squeeze a whole lemon and strain it into the water that you will make the ice cubes with. This will give the cubes a little flavor to dilute in your drink as they melt. (On top of the berries’ flavor — which is the best part: munching on them at the end of the drink.)
Raspberry ice cubes would be delicious in this raspberry mint kir royale cocktail, and blackberry ice would be amazing in this spicy jalapeño blackberry margarita recipe. I’m going to try cranberry ice at the holidays in these yule mules, which are perfect for Christmastime.
And like I said before, they’re an easy way to make a mocktail or simple glass of water feel special. I love them in these sparkling balsamic mocktails, but they would also be delicious and pretty in spa water.
Soon you’ll be on your way to fancy, berry-filled ice cubes! Hope you love them. // susannah
- 2 cups water
- 24 (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberry slices or pitted cherries)
- Bring water to a boil in a kettle, in a saucepan or the microwave. Let cool for 5-10 minutes until warm.
- While you wait for the water to cool, wash your berries.
- Place 1-2 berries in each cavity of the ice try.
- Top with warm water, then place in the freezer.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 ice cubes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 5Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g