Food & Drink

Flavored Ice Cubes. For Cocktails, for America.

Pro Tips on Making Flavored Ice at Home

Ice is a chief component in cocktails.

Keeps them cold and stuff.

But while it brings a lot to the table in terms of chilling power, it’s hampered by its general lack of flavor.

Because ice is just frozen water, you see.

Okay, science lesson over. Let’s learn how to make flavored ice, thereby improving any festive drinking that will occur this weekend and into the future.

For that, we turned to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a Miami-based operation (with a newer Las Vegas outpost) that combines large ice blocks with a 21-inch saw to create intricately shaped and flavored ice cubes. They’re doing important work. And they’ve shared a bunch of tips to help you create your own interesting ice.

Read on and impress someone.

—Add flavor and depth to your cocktails, and prevent a watered-down taste, by making fruit or vegetable ice cubes that complement the flavor of your drinks.

—A few recommended flavors for obtaining ultimate refreshment include watermelon, cucumber and lemonade.

—Use 1.25-inch ice cube molds, as this size adds a good balance of flavor.

—Freeze ice cube trays immediately after juicing to ensure the freshness and vibrancy of flavor. One liter of juice should yield approximately 24 1.25-inch cubes.

—The shape and size of your ice should be reflective of the glassware you plan to use and the type of cocktail served. Various molds in different shapes and sizes are available in stores. The smaller the ice, the faster it melts.

—Ice melts in the sun.

That last one comes from us. Just trying to help.

Now, employ your newfound ice knowledge to concoct the particularly delicious gin and tonic recipe below. It’s using both cucumber and watermelon ice because that’s just a damn summery thing to do.


Gin & Tonic

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz quinine syrup
3 oz club soda

Add gin and quinine syrup to a collins glass. Add ice. Fill with soda, leaving some room at the top. Add one piece of cucumber ice and one piece of watermelon ice.

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