During the summer, there is always a reason to celebrate, and with celebration comes fancy drinks. These days it's easy and fun to dress up your drinks. Aside from the bright, cheerful colors of summer cocktails, adding additional fruit and novelties such as umbrellas and fun straws make drinks even more festive. But, if you really want to WOW your guests, try making some floral ice cubes for your next cocktail hour. With a couple of easy ingredients and some attentiveness, floral adorned drinks can easily become a regular part of your entertaining repertoire.
You'll need a few things to get started... A silicone ice cube tray, edible flowers, and distilled water, but that's it! Silicone is the best way to freeze floral ice cubes because it allows you to remove the ice without cracking it once the cubes have fully set. There are a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from, which is great because you can match the size of your silicone tray to the size of your florets. Be sure that there will be enough space in the mold for the floret and plenty of water to fully cover it. Silicone ice cube trays are available at most big box, home stores or even online (check out some options on Amazon here).
Next you'll need some edible flowers. Even if you don't actually eat the ice or the flowers, it's always best to play it safe. Check out our “Floral Salad” blog post here for the best varieties of edible flowers to use. Finally, distilled water will give you super clear ice to show off your flowers. You can use tap water to make these cubes if you wish, but distilled water freezes with the best clarity and will show off the flowers most beautifully.
The best way to actually freeze flowers into ice cubes requires a three-step freezing process. This takes some time, so when you are planning to make these, give yourself an extra day or so to make sure the ice cubes have time to properly and fully freeze between each step.
Start by adding distilled water about 1/3 of the way up in each cube of the trays. Place your blossoms in the water, making sure to immerse them as much as possible. I like to face them in different directions so each cube has a somewhat unique look. The most important part of this step, however, is to make sure as much of the floret as possible freezes in this first round.
Place the trays flat in the freezer and freeze until firm. Once ready, pull out your trays and add another third of water to the tray. Keep the distilled water in the refrigerator in between rounds so it is nice and cold each time you add it. This will prevent further melting of your cubes. Put the trays back into the freezer and wait until firm. When the second round of water has frozen, pull the trays back out and fill to the top. Then back in the freezer they go until they are done.
When you remove the cubes from the trays, they may look cloudy from frosting over. Keep in mind that they will turn clear when you pour drinks over them. You can try this fancy trick with many different kinds of flowers. I recommend the most colorful varieties you can find. You can also freeze mint and other herbs to add some greenery to your cocktail arrangements. If you are looking for some guidance on how to grow mint using Indoor Grow Kits like our Organic Garden Jars, check out our blog post and infographic here on the topic.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so try this a few times before you're ready to entertain. Cheers!
Owner of Floral Underground