This was fun to do. I have culinary cubes ready to go for about a half dozen different cocktails. I chose a variety of ingredients, including lavender, nasturtium, lemon peel, coconut milk, coconut water, blueberries, kaffir leaves, ginger, horseradish, tomato juice, marion berry plum shrub, lemonade and limeade. Simple concoctions become uniquely delicious drinks when you float flavorful, colorful cubes that gently dissolve into the beverage.
I have offered three different cocktail ideas for this post, but there are literally hundreds of different ideas out there. Get creative with herbs, juices, flowers and shrubs and make a few culinary cubes at home. The holidays are just two months away (yikes). Think of the wow-factor these frozen gems would have on your holiday cocktails. Have fun!
FRENCH 75 with LAVENDER LEMON CUBES
For Rosemary Ice Cubes
- This first cube is more like a spear. I used narrow small ice cube trays that are perfect for laying out zest or herbs for freezing. This particular one has a sprig of lavender and a small amount of lemon zest (you can also use a curl of lemon zest) in each tray and then filled with water. We added these to our French 75 cocktails. Very refreshing.
For (1) Cocktail
- 1-1/2 ounces gin
- 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 cup plain ice cubes
- 2 oz. Champagne or Prosecco, chilled
- one lavender lemon cube or spear
Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Add one lavender lemon cube or spear to each glass (we used champagne flutes with the frozen spear – very pretty). Strain gin mixture into each glass. Top with chilled champagne or Prosecco and garnish with lemon curl.
BOURBON COCONUT COCKTAIL with NASTURTIUM COCONUT CUBES
For Nasturtium Coconut Ice Cubes
- 6-8 nasturtium flowers (one for each compartment of your tray)
- 1 C full fat coconut milk (you may need a little more, depending on size of your ice cube tray)
In your mini or standard sized ice cube tray, place one flower face down in compartment. You’ll notice in the photo I did not put mine in face down, but do as I say not as I did 🙂 Fill each compartment with coconut milk, completely covering flower. Freeze until ready to use for cocktails. Please Note: This is a fabulous culinary cube and totally welcomes other elements such as lime or lemon zest, fresh mint, fresh basil or Thai basil. Even a spicy chili would be nice for the right beverage. Using a larger cube means a slower melting of the cube.
For (1) Cocktail
- 1-1/2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce coconut rum
- 2 ounces coconut milk
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 coconut nasturtium cubes (depending on size of glass used)
In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with plain ice, add bourbon, rum, coconut milk, simple syrup and vanilla. Vigorously shake for approximately one minute. Then strain in coconut ice cube filled glasses.
VODKA COCKTAIL with BLUEBERRY LEMONADE CUBES
- 1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 C lemonade (you may need a little more, depending on size of your ice cube tray)
In your mini or standard sized ice cube tray, place approximately 5-6 blueberries in each compartment and fill each compartment with lemonade. Freeze until ready to use for cocktails. Please Note: If you’re reading this past blueberry season, frozen work just fine. You can also use a different berry, such as raspberry, blackberry, marionberry if you have those on hand or in your freezer.
For (4) Cocktails
- 6 – 8 sprigs of mint (plus 4 more for garnish)
- 1 C lemonade
- 6 – 8 ounces vodka (one cocktail typically has 1.5 ounces)
- 1 C plain ice cubes
- 8 ounces Prosecco
- 4 sprigs of organic lemon peel (I use organic lemons for recipes including peel or zest)
- 4 sprigs of fresh organic mint
Place mint leaves and lemonade in a cocktail shaker. Muddle mixture with the end of a wooden spoon. Add vodka and ice; shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Add 2-3 blueberry lemonade ice cubes to each glass. Using shaker strainer, divide vodka mixture among glasses. Top with Prosecco and garnish with mint and lemon peel.