Why use plain ice cubes when you can dress up your drinks with fun colors and shapes? Impress your guests, and let them chill out, with five twists on the original summer refresher.
Play with texture
To make this vibrant granita, pour water mixed with blood orange juice (or any ﬂavor of your choice) into a shallow sheet pan. Let freeze. Using a pick to shatter the ice (a fork will do in a pinch), scrape off thin layers. In a tall glass, add lychee boba balls, a splash of blood orange syrup, and then top with the ice shavings.
Cool tool: Electric Ice Shaver by Tayama, Wayfair, $50
Think Outside The Cube
Spherical ice elevates an otherwise simple summer tipple, like a zesty grapefruit spritzer or a bourbon on the rocks, into an artisanal cocktail. Add a splash of hibiscus concentrate to the spritzer to fashion a dramatic sunset scene. Or layer chia seeds (soak for roughly 20 minutes beforehand) at the bottom of the glass for instant health spa vibes. (Tea can be subbed in, depending on the hour and mood.)
Cool tool: Silicone Ice Sphere Mold, Williams Sonoma, $13
Show Off Ingredients
For big impact with little effort, freeze your garnish directly in the ice. Fill the tray with water, then gently place lime “polka dots” so they stay suspended as the ice forms. To make: Use a sharp paring knife to peel closely to the rind (for the least amount of pith) before creating neat little rounds with a hole punch. Pretty herbs, such as sprigs of dill, are another great option.
Cool tool: Circle Hand Punch by Fiskars, Amazon, $6
Desconstruct Your Drink
Flip iced coffee into coffee ice: Freeze cold brew (which looks less murky than espresso when frozen) and cream in an ice tray—plus Kahlúa or Baileys Irish Cream if you want it spiked. Add the ﬂavored cubes to a tall glass and pour in liquid cold brew so everything melts together.
Cool tool: Everyday Ice Cube Tray with Lid, Food52, from $38
Punch Up Color
A medley of shades makes party cocktails look extra cool (think: tequila sodas, vodka tonics, and any clear- or light-hued drinks). Pair different ﬂavors to create a rainbow effect, such as concord grape, cherry, and raspberry. For this batch, we used prickly pear extract (hot pink) and coconut water (light pink). Rectangular ice bars are an unexpected twist on the everyday cube.
Cool tool: 10 Cells Rectangular Ice Cube Silicone, Ali Express
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue with the headline "The Big Chill."
See more fun summer recipes:
7 Recipes to Upgrade Your Favorite Canned Drinks
Easy Summer Appetizers Fit for a Crowd
40 Fun Summer Cocktails You Have to Try