Amanda & Merrill

Lemonade Ice Cubes

July 27, 2010

Lemonade Ice Cubes  Lemonade Ice Cubes with Berries

- Merrill

A few weeks ago, we went to the wedding of some good friends out on Long Island. Despite a few drops of rain during the ceremony, everything came off without a hitch, and the pre-reception cocktail was a particular highlight: it was a refreshing Pimm’s cup, and bobbing within it were ice cubes that had berries embedded in them, almost like beautiful, rainbow-bright fossils in amber.

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I told Amanda about the ice cubes that week, and we somehow got on the topic of her technique of making lemon ice cubes for lemonade (so that the ice doesn’t dilute, but rather reinforces the flavor of the drink). I thought: why not combine the two? So here is my almost embarrassingly simple recipe for lemonade ice cubes, studded with fresh berries. They have a hint of sweetness, but not so much as to make them sticky. Give them a go, and let me know what you think!

Lemonade Ice Cubes

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Fresh berries of your choice

Stir together ¼ cup hot water and the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup cold water and then the lemon juice, stirring to combine. Put a berry (or two if they’re small) into each hollow of an ice cube tray and then fill each halfway with lemonade. Put the tray in the freezer for an hour or two, until frozen. Fill the hollows completely with lemonade and freeze again until completely solid. Use to chill glasses of lemonade, or add to a Pimm's cup!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Tamale_Princess August 1, 2010
Re: Freezing soda.

I, too, used to freeze sweetened soda, and yes, it froze all the way.

When I made my first complete meal at 10, (mock drumsticks, biscuits w/ peas in white sauce, and pear rabbits.) I froze 3 different colors of Kool-Aid into ice cubes. They were put into tall glasses, and 7-Up was poured over them to serve. A very pretty presentation. :)
Kelsey B. July 28, 2010
How fun! My grandmother used to do this with a bundt pan! Make a huge ice-ring full of raspberries and a little bit of juice and then float the ring in her giant punch bowl at parties. I think she matched the juice in the ice to the punch she was serving, I'm pretty sure it was pineapple...
AntoniaJames July 28, 2010
My piano teacher (a grandmotherly woman) did the same thing, with tiny strawberries, for the punch she served at our recitals! At age 6, I considered it the most gorgeous punch imaginable. That she added ginger ale -- a rare treat -- didn't hurt. Will have to remember the bundt pan idea. I believe that my piano teacher used a decorative ring mold . . . the kind for making the gelatin molds so popular back then. ;o)
AntoniaJames July 28, 2010
Oh, how gorgeous! Limeade ice cubes are also nice (I used them in my Moonlight Sonata) . . . they actually provide little spikes of flavor. I tried making them with some lime zest added, for an extra jolt of lime flavor, but the result wasn't very attractive. I love the idea of putting berries in! Can't wait to try it with blueberries. ;o)
J-Dizzle July 28, 2010
Terrific! What a wonderful idea....going to use your idea this weekend as I am having the gals over for 'drinks n' appetizers'.....Thanks....they look stunning!
TheRunawaySpoon July 27, 2010
Gorgeous! I have been putting these cucumber mint ice cubes in Gin and Tonics all summer.
fineartdaily July 27, 2010
Quite pretty - like little ice petit fours. And what a good idea for Pimm's - much better than limp cukes!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
What a great comparison! I think there was a slice of cuke in there too -- it was a loaded Pimm's!
monica's S. July 27, 2010
I used to make ice cubes out of soda when I was a littel girl! This brings back memories. But these of course are a lot more sophisticated and I LOVE the addition of the berries. Perfect for Summer! :D
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Cool! Sweetened soda? Did they freeze completely?
Lizthechef July 27, 2010
Always learning - thanks for all the tips - make my iced coffee ice cubes look a bit sad - functional, but need this kind of inspiration!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Not at all! Iced coffee cubes are the best.
nannydeb July 27, 2010
Beautiful! What a great idea!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Thank you!
Sagegreen July 27, 2010
These are gorgeous. I love mrslarkin's violets, too! On the subject of weddings and beverages, did you know the origin of the word bridal goes back to bride's ale, which was the bride's responsibility?
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Did not know that. Thanks for the interesting factoid!
Kitchen B. July 27, 2010
Love, love, love the blackberry half - absolutely gorgeous - looks floral, tastes citrus and is altogether refreshing - And I LOVE that you guys recreate winning recipes from out & about! Well done
Merrill S. July 27, 2010
Thank you -- and yes, isn't that blackberry stunning?
mrslarkin July 27, 2010
Fun! I love making "fossil" ice cubes. Violets in the springtime, herbs in summer, now this! Great idea Merrill!
Merrill S. July 27, 2010