8 Cool Ways to Make Fancy Ice Cubes
Think Outside the Tray
You might regard ice cubes as strictly utilitarian, but what if you consider the humble drink chillers a blank slate for creativity? These easy, icy upgrades turn an everyday beverage into something much more fun — whether you're serving a crowd at a party or simply yourself.
Repurpose a Chocolate Mold
Ordinary ice trays can be a little, well, square (pun intended). But candy molds typically meant for chocolate or fondant can offer an endless variety of shape options — including letters. Clear ice provides a subtle surprise in your glass, but a few drops of food coloring will make the ice extra festive.
Pick Some Petals
Freezing flowers in ice cubes adds a colorful, feminine touch to a garden party or girly brunch. Layer the petals so they're partially exposed for the most-vibrant look, and get creative with the size of the cubes and the pattern of the florals. Just be sure to use flowers that are edible, like these roses.
Pluck Cherry Stems
Infuse drinks with a little cherry flavor by freezing the fruit with water in an ice tray. Leave the stems of the cherries exposed so you can easily remove the cubes and add a little whimsy to your drink station.
If your watermelon platter is overflowing, freeze some for a pretty, flavorful addition to drinks. Melon is easily sliced into a variety of shapes, and you can customize the size however you like. These teeny watermelon cubes look cute piled on top of each other and fit perfectly in tall, skinny glasses.
Fill Number Balloons
Remember this genius idea next time you host a birthday or anniversary party. Fill mini numerical Mylar balloons with water and freeze. Then, pile them into your drink bucket or cooler as a surprising nod to the guest of honor. You can leave the ice inside the balloons to contain melting, or remove the balloons to reveal a DIY ice sculpture.
Make a Flower in a Bottle
The bottom of an empty plastic drink bottle is actually a clever flower-shaped mold. Cut the base off a few bottles, fill them with fruit puree, and freeze. The result is bunch of pink and purple "daisies" you can float in punch — choose a couple of different bottle sizes to add variety to your display.
Rethink the Arnold Palmer
An Arnold Palmer is a classic summer beverage that deliciously blends iced tea and lemonade. But instead of mixing the drink in advance of a cookout, have lemonade ready and freeze tea into cubes or sticks (these slim molds — meant to chill water bottles — are becoming more common and easy to find). This way, lemonade purists will be satisfied, and Arnold Palmer devotees can add as much frozen tea to their glasses as they like.
Try an Easter Egg
Got any plastic eggs hiding in your house? Filled with water and frozen, they'll deliver a cute stand-in for a "whiskey sphere" — handy for chilling any beverage in a stocky glass. Close and seal each egg around its middle with tape, and patiently fill it from the teeny hole on top (if your eggs don't have a hole, you can carefully drill one). Place the eggs in an egg carton to keep them from rolling around in your freezer. After they've set, simply remove the tape, open the egg, and pop the ice out.