I love a good cocktail as much as the next hard-working adult, but there’s nothing worse than a watered-down drink. So instead of plain ice cubes that take away from your drink as they melt, go hard in the other direction with clever hacks that keep your cocktails tasting strong until your last sip.
Ice cube hacks are so easy and festive; they have holiday party written all over them. Add these cubes to guests’ cocktails, or top with sparkling water for a fun non-alcoholic twist on soda. It’s a whole new way to freshen up the party.
Hack #1: Lazy Manhattan Ice Cubes
The classic Manhattan is one of my absolute favorite cocktails. Generally, it’s served with a cherry and orange zest. For this hack, we take these garnishes and freeze them inside spherical ice ball molds. I recommend adding a dash of bitters to each ice cube as well so it flavors the Manhattan as it melts. And by the time you finish your drink, you’ll have a cherry to eat!
Hack #2: On-Demand Mimosa Cubes
Mimosas are so delicious that we’d probably love them even if they took more than 30 seconds to make. And these ice cubes make it even easier. Freeze a bunch in advance and then all you have to do is add champagne to each glass!
To make these, fill square ice cubes almost to the top with orange juice, then top with a tiny drizzle of grenadine for color and sweetness.
Hack #3: "Salty Dog" Cubes
Have you ever had a salty dog? The classic pairing of grapefruit juice and vodka might sound questionable, but it’s delicious. This ice cube is perfect for that cocktail (or any simple vodka-based mix drink!).
To make, add half a segment of fresh pink grapefruit to each ice cube mold and top off with grapefruit juice. Serve topped with vodka and club soda.
Hack #4: Lemon Simple Syrup Cubes
These are beautiful! I love freezing lemon segments in ice cubes to let people know the flavor—such a fun addition. The lemon slices might be what people notice first, but the real trick to these is the sweet lemonade that’s in the cube.
To make the base, stir 1/2 cup of sugar into 2 cups of lemonade until dissolved. Then freeze in the ice cube trays with lemon segments. These cubes are fantastic for vodka or gin drinks, or just with some sparkling water for a very light and refreshing lemon drink.
Hack #5: Maple Ginger Cubes
These might look unassuming, but they have the most interesting flavor profile of all five cubes. Start by filling each ice cube cavity with ginger ale, then add a dollop of maple syrup and a few pieces of crystallized ginger. These sweet ginger cubes go well with dark liquor drinks, like a rum- or bourbon-based cocktail.
One tip: Don’t freeze these in round/spherical ice molds that you have to seal shut—the carbonation might make them explode. Just use normal square trays.
The next time you’re having a party (or just for a special after-work drink), hack your ice cube tray and let the good times roll.