Get Fit For Summer: 5 Great Ways to Use Your Ice Cube Trays

 

Get Fit For Summer!

An essential aspect of dealing with the rising temperatures is using ice cubes by any means necessary. Your usual cup of hot coffee turns to iced coffee and ice thrown in with your water keeps it that much cooler. Fun and flavorful ice cubes can even make your water taste more exciting. Here are the top 5 tips and tricks to staying cool by using your ice cube trays. 

1. Coffee Ice Cubes: Put in any leftover coffee into your ice cube trays to make coffee ice cubes for your iced coffee. This way it won't dilute and ensure your coffee is at it's strongest!

2. Stock: One good ingredient to always keep on hand is chicken or vegetable stock. It's perfect for making gravy, on mashed potatoes or just in soup. However, if you make it yourself you know how time consuming it can be. If you make a lot, just freeze the rest into your ice cube trays that way you can just heat it up in a pinch.

3. Cocktail Garnishes: If you're looking to wow your guests at your next shindig, look no further than with iced garnishes. Fill your ice cube trays with a third of water and allow it to freeze partially. Then place either blackberries or other small bits of fruit so that it will stay in place, then fill the rest up and freeze all the way through. You can also use mint or other garnishes as well as a splash of food coloring to give a nice tint!

4. Flavored ice cubes: Freezing up ice cubes of your favorite juices is a great way to add just a bit of flavor to boring old water. Choose anywhere from orange to apple juice and if you're feeling a bit more adventurous freeze mango nectar.

5. Mini popsicles: A perfect summer time treat will always be popsicles. Freezing fruit purees or smoothies in the freezer (be sure to put a toothpick in halfway before it's all the way frozen to ensure that it holds) will make for cute little popsicles that anyone can enjoy. Novelty ice cube trays shaped like stars and even robots will make your popsicles that much more fun to eat!

What's your best way to use your ice cube tray?

Photo: stevendepolo on flickr

Cocktails Get A Cool Upgrade With Fancy Ice Cubes

Ice is hot right now at cocktail bars across the country. It's not just about the spirits or the mixers, which have been elevated from your standard well-vodka to premium and hard to find artisan liquors and straight from the market additions such as herb-infused freshly squeezed ginger juice, or red pepper puree. Now, these wizards of drinks are focusing on what keeps your cocktail cold: the ice. In many bars across the nation, ice is arriving in spheres, spears, and large cubes, with not so much as a bubble or cloud suspended within. This is achieved through chilling distilled water, and many bars have invested in the expensive Kold-Draft ice machine, which flushes out impurities in the water as it freezes the cubes. This machine has become the go-to ice machine for serious mixologists.

If it seems strange to you that bartenders are putting so much importance into ice, give some a thought. If the ice is impure, when it melts due to the surrounding liquid, it will lower the quality of your drink. The increased surface area of these new ice cubes allows for slower melting, future ensuring a great beverage.

Interested in making some sophisticated ice cubes at home? Follow the DIY instructions from the Wall Street Journal.

Do you like this new ice cube trend? Have you tried it at a bar?