There’s a lot you can freeze in ice cube trays, ranging from leftovers (herbs submerged in olive oil, tomato paste, homemade chicken stock) to beverages (wine or coffee) you can use to chill drinks without diluting them.
It’s also super easy to elevate regular ice cubes by freezing pretty ingredients inside of them. Here are some ideas: edible flowers, rainbow sprinkles, maraschino cherries, berries, cucumbers, lemons and limes, herbs, kiwis, olives, and pomegranate seeds. Impress guests by serving them gin and tonics with lime or mint ice cubes or a dirty martini over an olive ice cube.
You’ll need a few supplies to get started. If you don’t already have them, we recommend using flexible silicone ice cube trays (like these Tovolo King Cube Ice Trays or Tovolo Perfect Cube Ice Trays, both available on Amazon). They make unmolding the ice a breeze because you can push the cubes out from the bottom. For the clearest ice cubes, you’ll also need to use distilled water. It sounds fancy, but most bottled water is distilled and should be labeled as such on the outside. Finally, a small rimmed baking sheet will help slide the filled trays from the counter into the freezer without spilling them.
Make sure the ingredients you’re using are fresh and vibrant. Some of the more delicate picks, like flowers and herbs, might bob to the surface when you add water. Prop the stems of the flowers and herbs against the walls of the molds to keep them as submerged as possible. Your fancy cubes will last just as long as regular ice. Here are some quick tips to keep your ice smelling and tasting fresh.