Summer is off to a bit of a late start this year, but the sun is out and it’s now time for lake paddling, deck sitting, and drink sipping. I’m not normally an ice person, but while I lounge in the sun, I want my beverage cold enough to condense so I can hold the glass to my overheated forehead before I take a refreshing swig. Aaaah… Mmmmm…
So I use ice cubes. Brilliant, I know you guys, I’m a smartie. I’ve got all your tips right here: to keep summer drinks cold, add an ice cube or two right from the freezer! What would you ever do without me?!
Seriously though, I do have a tip, and that’s to make your beverage that much more exciting, with fancy ice cubes. Honestly, they’re really all I use anymore, unless I’m making a smoothie that requires ice (not all smoothies pair well with mint). I use my fancy ice cubes in water, ice tea, lemonade, and even white wine (though you are more than welcome to judge me on that last one. I judge myself a little too).
So how do you make your fancy ice cubes? As luck would have it, approximately the same time of year that the weather starts to heat up, the mint also becomes primee for the picking, and it continues to grow all summer long! Coincidence? I think not. My favorite ice cube additions are mint, cucumber, and lemon, though lime and honey are also fun, and blackberries or raspberries are fun for kids.
Here’s the easiest recipe I’ve posted yet. So simple, I hesitate to call it a recipe. Really, here is what you need to chop and squeeze your way to an exciting glass of water.
*Directions are for one tray, though I usually make four at a time.
- 2-3 sprigs mint
- 1 small cucumber
- 1-2 small lemons
- After rinsing fresh mint, place 2-4 leaves in each square of an empty ice cube tray.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemons equally in each cube of the tray. (I like to use my fingers to work a bit of pulp into each cube as well).
- Slice the cucumber as thinly as possible, and then quarter each slice. Place 2-3 of the quarter slices in each cube.
- Add water.
Add to beverages, and enjoy! Feel proud of your small victory over mundane water! ( Give yourself a bonus pat on the back for utilizing some of that prolific mint…)