Summer has arrived with all of its hot glory – pools, beaches, picnics, camping trips, and more. If you’re enjoying the outside fun but are tired of getting to the bottom of your iced coffee to have ice water, read on!
I wanted to share some fun spins on regular, boring ol’ ice cubes. We both know they are going to be a necessity when it’s 95 degrees outside, so why not have some fun with them?
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First, think outside the box – er, mold? You don’t have to stick with normal ice cube trays! You can get oversized square ones here, cool spheres here, and even characters for the kids.
You can use almost any small, silicone baking mold as an ice cube tray! There are dinosaurs, animals, flowers, the alphabet, unicorns, butterflies – seriously. There’s everything.
Quick note – if you have a little one teething, check out this teething ring. You can put a regular or flavored ice cube in the small net enclosure and let them suck away. The netting gives the texture their sore gums are craving, while the ice numbs the pain! It’s a win-win!
Here are some ideas to get you going!
Switch out the Water for Juice
Here’s an easy switch that’s sure to punch up the flavor at your next picnic! Pick out some complimentary fruit juice to go with your desired beverage – like a strawberry blend for lemonade; grape juice for berry drinks; lemon, lime, or orange for citrus drinks.
Then, pour the juice into your mold! As the ice melts, instead of diluting the drink, it gets punched up with extra flavor!
Use Frozen Fruits Instead
Instead of using a mold at all, how about using frozen fruit? Peaches, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, and more can be substituted for ice cubes. They add chill, flavor, and an extra punch of nutrients. It’s a win all the way around!
Citrus It Up
Here’s an idea – instead of using ice for all of your lemonade (and limeade, orangeade, all the -ades) needs, why not try freezing slices of the citrus itself?
Using a muffin pan, layer finely sliced limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit into the tin. (If you do it this way, their different sizes work for you, matching the shape of the tin.) Pour water over the top, and freeze.
You can add these jumbo-sized ice cubes to your pitchers for longer-lasting and better-tasting lemonade! Or try adding different fruit in between the layers, like pineapple or strawberries.
Coffee to the Iced Coffee
Yessssss. When it gets too hot or too late in the day to even tolerate a cup of hot coffee, here’s a solution to use that last bit in the pot. Pour it into an ice cube tray! You can even add cream or your favorite syrups to match your favorite iced coffee drink.
Then, the next time you’re craving an iced coffee, you can make your own! And instead of getting watery, milky coffee at the end, you’re still going strong with the flavor.
Want to step outside of your comfort zone a little? How about adding some herbs or veggies to the ice? You can mix celery leaves with tomato juice to go with V8 or Virgin Mary’s. Or, you can try adding lavender sprigs with lemon juice for lavender lemonade.
For some extra refreshment, try freezing cucumber slices! Take an English cucumber and cut it into quarters. Take out the seeds, then lay on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once solid, you can throw them in a bag. These are WONDERFUL paired with the citrus cubes above!
Candied Cubes for the Kiddos
Are you ready to knock your kids’ socks off!? You HAVE to try these candied ice cubes! You can add gummy worms, bears, or fruit rings. Put a few gummies in each mold, pour water or juice over, and freeze! Once their drink is done, they have a few candies to finish off! Plus, they just look so darn cool, especially in a clear carbonated beverage like carbonated water, Sprite, or Sierra Mist.
As the ice melts, they also get a hint of the candy flavor – without a huge sugar load.
Now, I’ve also seen, not that I’m recommending, (don’t hurt me) some prank ice cubes, where fake flies, spiders, or bugs have been “frozen” into the plastic ice cube form. However, every once in a while, a certain temptation may present itself for a prank on your kids -after they’ve danced on your last nerve.
I know, mama, I know.
So, you didn’t find it here, but…. Enjoy!