How to Make a Citrus Ice Mold Drink Bucket

Let this clever (and eye-catching) creation the be the centerpiece at your next brunch buffet.

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Photo By: Josh Grubbs

Pretty for a Party

Get fancy and serve drinks with extra flair, with this simple and stunning ice bucket. Using a combination of ice cubes and water is your shortcut to perfection: The ice holds the fruit and herbs in place and the water fuses with the ice as it freezes, creating a clear surface through which colors can shine through.

Here's What You Need


  • 1 grapefruit, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 blood orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bottle of your beverage of choice


  • One 4-quart cylindrical plastic bucket (about 8 inches tall x 8 inches wide)
  • One 1-quart plastic takeout container with lid (about 6 inches tall x 5 inches wide)
  • 1 pound ceramic pie weights or gravel
  • Ruler
  • Chopstick
  • Ice
  • Water

Build the First Layer

Place some fruit rounds on the bottom of a 4-quart cylindrical plastic bucket (some should stand along the sides of the bucket) and cover with 1 1/2 inches of ice in an even layer.

Add Water

Add enough cold water just to cover.

Position More Fruit and Freeze

Slide some more fruit rounds flush against the sides of the bucket, using the ice to hold them in place. Slide some mint leaves between the fruit.

Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.

Place the Core

Fill a 1-quart plastic takeout container with 1 pound of pie weights or beans, seal with the lid, and position in the center of the bucket.

Add More Fruit and Mint

Arrange more fruit and mint around the quart container, pressing some against the container sides and some against the wall of the bucket to create more dimension (a chopstick can help you do this.) Fill in with ice cubes to hold the fruit in place.

Fill With Water, Adjust and Freeze

Continue to add fruit, mint and ice until the bucket is filled to the top. Pour cold water over the ice until it reaches 1 inch from the top. Use a chopstick to position the fruit and mint if they have shifted out of place, adding ice as needed to secure. Fill to the top with cold water and freeze until solid, at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

Remove the Pie Weights

Remove the lid from the quart container and scoop the pie weights into a bowl.

Melt Just a Little

Carefully fill the quart container to the top with hot water. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the Container

Gently lift the container out — it should easily release from the ice bucket.

Unmold the Rest

Put the bucket in the sink and run hot water over the outside, rotating to cover all sides and the bottom. Tilt the bucket on its side and slide out the molded ice bucket.

Set on a Plate

Place on a rimmed plate, tray or baking sheet and freeze until ready to use.

Set Up and Serve

Thirty minutes before serving, remove the molded ice bucket from the freezer and let it sit out at room temperature. This will allow some of the frost to fade away, making the ice clearer. Add your favorite beverage to the ice bucket and serve.