Booze It Up
If you’re a fan of sangria, make cubes with the same red wine you use for the recipe (we like Troublemaker, a fruit-forward blend from Paso Robles with a hint of smoke). Or put some of those red cubes in a glass of sparkling wine, and watch the color change as the ice melts. Prefer beer? Combine a crisp brew like Samuel Adams Summer Ale with lemon juice, zest, and simple syrup and freeze. Pour your beer over a few cubes to keep it cool with a bittersweet kick.
Just Add Herbs
Making herb-infused cubes is an easy way to spruce up summertime drinks. We love the combination of basil ice cubes and lemonade or fennel fronds on the rocks with sparkling water. Just dice up the herbs and sprinkle some into each cube in the tray. If you’re feeling more adventurous, freeze chopped up mint, lime juice, and a bit of simple syrup and serve with your favorite rum for a refreshing riff on a mojito.
We’re fans of cold brew any time of year, but especially when it’s hot enough to cause your iced coffee to sweat. If you’re making your own at home, keep it potent with some coffee cubes—just freeze your favorite java in trays. They’ll keep your caffeine cold without sacrificing flavor.
Freezing whole fruits like raspberries or blueberries makes for a pretty display, but doesn’t add much in the way of flavor. Instead, try freezing your favorite smoothie—we love Recipes for Health columnist Martha Rose Shulman’s beet-and-berry version. Kick things up a notch by adding coconut milk to create gorgeous striped cubes that pair perfectly with seltzer.
Check out our summer entertaining video for more tips for how to impress your guests!