Fancy & Garnished Ice Cubes: How To

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Garnished & Colored: Maraschino cherries, one to each cube, are very appropriate for garnishing. They can be frozen in plain or appropriately tinted cubes. Lemon juice and lemon slices are also desirable additions.

Fruit FilledWhen fruits are to be frozen in this manner, fill the tray one-third full with water, then partially freeze. Add the fruit then freeze. This will hold the fruit in position. Then add water until the tray is about three-fourths full and finish freezing.

Any pure food coloring can be used to color by adding to the water before it is poured into the tray. Be sure to use the right amount of coloring, for delicate tints are always more attractive.

Garnished cubes should be frozen slowly to prevent expansion and cloudiness.

Decorated: Mint leaves, watercress, and candied fruit make very delightful decorating material for ice cubes. Simply put them on the ice cubes and add just enough water to freeze into place.

Decorated and garnished cubes should be frozen slowly, by leaving the freezer control on one of the “warmer” positions. Fast freezing causes rapid expansion which destroys the desired attractiveness.

Source: Your Frigidaire Recipes (1940)

Here’s a great tip when preparing your favorite punch recipe:

  • Prepare as recipe instructs, then ladle the liquid into each section of a muffin tin. Freeze, then add to rest of punch just before serving.
  • The thick round ice blocks won’t melt as quickly since they’re larger than regular ice cubes, plus the added benefit of not watering down the recipe with ice rounds made from punch rather than water.

You may want to make a little extra punch if the amount you’re making cuts too close to amount needed. It’s no fun having an empty bowl waiting for the rounds to melt before you can serve more.

If alcohol is part of the recipe, pour punch into muffin tins before you add the alcohol. You’ll also want to lessen the alcohol amount added initially since part of your recipe will be frozen–otherwise the first few drinks may be too strong. If you find the beverage is too weak once the rounds begin to melt, you can splash a bit of alcohol into the mix as needed.

You can first add fruit pieces and lime, lemon or orange slices to the muffin tin sections, then pour punch over top if you want to–it can add a nice touch in presentation. Float fruit side up.

More Decorative Ideas:

  • Take a jello mold, ring mold or decorative cake pan (something that will fit inside your punch bowl), and layer bottom neatly with slices of citrus fruit (lemon, lime, oranges). Add water to just barely cover the fruit slices, then freeze. If the fruit floats, you’ve added too much water.
  • Once frozen, fill the rest of the mold with water and freeze until solid. Just before serving punch, remove ice from mold and add to punch with the fruit slices side floating up.

Instead of citrus slices, you can use a fruit medley if you like (pineapple rings, cherries, grapes, strawberries–whatever you wish).

Tip: Boil water then cool before using it to make ice, makes a very clear ice ring.

Another trick to try: Freeze 7-Up in ice cube trays. Use the tangy cubes to spark party drinks (found on Quick Tricks With 7-Up).

Fruit Filled Ice Ring: Here’s an easy way to jazz up the punch bowl with a fruit filled and flavored ice ring. Make sure to use a mold which can be placed in the freezer.

Directions:

  • Fill mold half full with half a 6 1/4 oz. can of frozen orange juice, thawed, and half a can of water (mix the juice and water well).
  • Place in freezer for 1 hour.
  • Alternate maraschino cherries, pineapple chunks (drained), mandarin orange sections across the top.
  • Fill mold with the other half of orange juice mixed with another half can of water. Return to freezer until ready to use.

Punch Recipes

Filled With Fruit SlicesSuitable for a group of 18 people or less

2 quarts ginger ale
1 bottle cranberry juice cocktail (64 oz)
1 can pineapple juice (46 oz)
1 large can frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)
1 package frozen strawberries (20 oz)

Here’s a fruity slush punch to try:
Suitable for a group of 18 people or less

1 can unsweetened orange juice (46 oz)
1 can pineapple juice (46 oz)
1 cup sugar
1 package frozen strawberries
2 quarts Sprite (ginger ale also works fine)

Directions:

  • Mix together the juices, sugar and strawberries and pour into an ice cream pail several days in advance.
  • When ready to serve, remove the frozen mix, place in punchbowl and pour Sprite over top.
  • Once ice melts and is slushy, it’s ready to enjoy.

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Published: June 26, 2009
Updated: January 9, 2012

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