I stood parched drinking a glass of water, and thinking it was quite boring! It’s been hot lately, and hydrating should really be more festive. I decided to brew some iced tea, when I noticed the stack of unused ice trays and an abundance of herbs in my kitchen. Then it occurred to me . . . I was going to spice-up my H2O with some homemade summer ice cubes! Now, frozen water cubelets aren’t inherently exciting, but using fresh, seasonal ingredients and your freezer, and there we have a ridiculously easy way to jazz-up your beverage.
I looked at my stores and decided to pull out fresh watermelon, raspberries, mini cucumbers, lemons and limes. I also thought we could pair these with fresh herbs like rosemary, orange mint, and basil. There are endless combinations, but here are how the pairings went down for my first batches:
- Raspberry with rosemary
- Lime juice with basil
- Lemon juice, basil, mint & cucumber
- Melon ball with mint
- Raspberry with lemon juice
- Cucumber with lemon juice
- Lemon juice with rosemary
- Melon ball with basil
Thirsty yet?! Good, let’s cube stuff:
- 1 mini cucumber, sliced
- watermelon, using a small melon baller
- fresh raspberries
- juice of 2, sweet lemons.
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 2 limes
- zest of 1 lime
- 1-2 bottles of water, or distilled water
- fresh rosemary sprigs
- fresh mint, or orange mint variety, (cut leaves smaller if large)
- Clean and dry two ice cube trays (you can do as many as you like, in varying cube sizes!).
- Assign different fruit and herb combinations to each tray/portions of trays.
- I made: raspberry rosemary, melon ball & orange mint, melon ball & basil, lemon & rosemary, lime & basil, basil & mint & cucumber, cucumber & lemon.
- First place in fruit and dry herb combos.
- Next add about ½ cube's worth of citrus juice to respective tray.
- Lastly, fill to top, covering ingredients with the bottled water.
- Freeze for a few hours.
- Use in festive drinks!
These look pretty sharp in a drink, and would certainly be festive for a holiday BBQ. With the 4th of July approaching, maybe patriotic blueberry, strawberry cubes? Just saying! I had a couple of sizes of standard ice trays on hand, but these days you can find them in just about any shape and size. You can freeze a small segment of a citrus fruit if you want to keep it simple, but with the mixology craze these days, I can see getting a little experimental and loving it! Perhaps a cosmo with the raspberry rosemary cubes, or a vodka soda with the cucumber-lemon-mint-basil combo. Is it 5:00 yet? Well, until my next Happy Hour, my water was just upgraded with a melon ball & mint leaf—so long Crystal Light.