Chosen Bites: Sugar and spice and everything ice

Cool down during the hot summer months with these chic fruit ice cubes, which add sparkle to the most basic of drinks.

June 3, 2013 16:53
3 minute read.
Fruit ice cubes

Fruit ice cubes 370. (photo credit: Laura Frankel)

I remember the best glass of iced tea I ever had. I was in New York meeting with my editor and we were having tea. It was blistering hot, so hot that the heat came up through my sandals while waiting to cross the street.

I ordered the tea and the server brought me a glass of colored ice cubes. The cubes glowed ruby red with bursts of lemon yellow. They were beautiful and I was thirsty. The tea came in a laboratory-type beaker and was poured over the fruity ice cubes.

A burst of raspberry-lemon and perfectly brewed tea quenched my thirst that day. No melting ice cubes to water down my tea, just fruit and refreshing lemon.

Since that day, I make flavored ice cubes anytime I serve cold beverage. The cubes add a flavor punch to tea, lemonade, water and cocktails.  I keep my cubes simple with pureed fruit and the addition of fresh herbs like mint, basil and rosemary. I do not add sugar as I want to add flavor, not sweetness.

I prefer to puree my fruit instead of freezing pieces of fruit. The puree looks prettier and adds more flavor without adding chunks of fruit.

Summer fruit cubes are a great way to use overripe fruit and to add flavor to any beverage. There are no rules to this. Pick your favorite fruits and herbs and add some sparkle to your summer beverages.


2 cups ripe strawberries
¼ cup torn mint

1. Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor. Fold in the mint by hand and pour the mixture into ice cube trays.

2. Freeze completely before using.

Strawberry-Mint ice cubes are prefect for water, lemonade, iced tea, chilled white wine and Prosecco.


2 cups fresh cucumber, peeled and seeded
¼ cup torn basil leaves

1. Puree the cucumber in a blender or food processor. Fold in the basil by hand and pour the mixture into ice cube trays.

2. Freeze completely before using.

Cucumber-Basil cubes are prefect for water, lemonade and cocktails.


2 cups ripe raspberries
½ cup lemon supremes*, cut into small chunks
1 small fresh rosemary sprig, leaves stripped off and finely chopped

1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Pass the berries puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.

2. Fold in the lemon pieces and rosemary and pour into ice cube trays.

3. Freeze completely before using.

Raspberry-Lemon cubes are delicious in iced tea, lemonade, water and cocktails.

*The beautiful citrus sections (or supremes in French) look picture perfect on a plate and are easy to cut.

Start with a sharp paring knife and cutting board. Cut off a small section from the top and bottom of the fruit. This will give the fruit stability and keep it from rolling around.
Cut down the rind from top to bottom following the curve of the fruit. The goal is to remove the rind and the pith (white bitter part) but not the fruit. Continue until all of the rind has been cut off.

Hold the fruit in one hand and cut ½ into the fruit at one of the dividing membranes. Cut on the other side of the segment along the membrane. This should release the segment or supreme. Continue until all of segments are cut out.

Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

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