Many people don't give the ice in their drink much thought. They're glad it keeps their beverage cool, and that's about it. But thanks to the boom in cocktail culture during the aughts and 2010s, having bespoke ice options that aren't just eye-catching but also harbingers of flavor has become quite the trend. One of the most common ways to dress up those cubes is by infusing them with various fruits.
Though it seems simple enough to freeze fruit inside your ice cube tray, there is one common mistake that all too many folks make — they cut the fruit up. This is a big no-no. Whole fruits are the key to adding visual pop while boosting flavor and turning your ho-hum cocktail into a work of art.
Why? Well, it's simple logic — slicing into a fruit often exposes less attractive aspects of its structure, from stringy bits to seeds and unappealing colors, and the dicing process ruins the unique shape that Mother Nature intended. Want great cubes? Keep the fruit whole.
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When It Comes To Cubes, Does Size Matter?
A whole fruit-infused ice cube can be made with whatever fruit fits, but there are a few things to consider. Small fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and grapes will all easily fill out the spaces in a standard size ice cube tray, making them some of the best options, but you don't have to stick to only the pint-size varieties.
The cube itself should be considered too. Though the standard cubes you might have in the ice tray in your freezer won't fill much surface area, ice cube molds are available in an array of shapes and sizes, from giant cubes and spheres the size of a baseball to a variety of different geometric designs. And the larger the cube, the larger the fruits that can be infused in it. You could easily pack a carefully peeled clementine or kiwi inside a large ice cube, with the additional advantage being that larger cubes melt more slowly, meaning your cocktails stay fresher longer. If you are a fan of smaller cubes, such as the pebble ice often found in tiki cocktails, they can be infused with the daintiest of fruits — think pomegranate seeds or black currants.
The Right Drink For The Right Cube
It may seem obvious to use fruit-infused ice cubes in fruity drinks, and that can certainly work — a classic margarita could easily be punched-up with a few strawberry ice cubes as rocks, and the same goes for a key lime cube in a citrusy white sangria, or a frosty cherry cube to switch up the garnish in your favorite Manhattan. But you don't necessarily need to limit yourself to cocktails that lean toward the sweet side, or even cocktails at all.
A great option for those who don't drink alcohol is to throw a few fruit-infused cubes in a rocks glass with club soda or a flavored water. The brightness of the cube will pop wonderfully against the clear, bubbly liquid, making for an elegant and booze-free sipper. This option also works great for any mocktail, or as a fun way to dress up a non-alcoholic party punch for the kids at your next big event, ensuring your party is the coolest on the block.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.