We were hoping to be in Bar Harbor, Maine with our relatives again for this Fourth of July like we were last year, but coronavirus had other plans. Celebrating Independence Day is undoubtedly going to be different this year, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t make it special (even if it’s just spent at home — #quarantinelife). Also, can you believe it’s the Fourth of July already?! Lately time feels like it’s both standing still and in fast-forward!
For a bit of backstory, I started being my own bartender back in March (thanks, COVID-19) and since then I’ve been trying to find easy ways to make our drinks at home a little more fun and interesting. I’ve had a love affair with Jordan’s Skinny Syrups and Mixes (click here for $5 off your first order!) and made variations of a few of my favorite classic cocktails… but sometimes you just want to pour a glass of wine or crack a can of spiked seltzer and call it a day.
Enter: the silicone ice cube tray.
Last week when we did our every-two-week grocery shop I couldn’t resist grabbing a few containers of fresh berries. I love fruits and veggies and they’re so abundant in the summertime! When we got home with our produce and I was cleaning them / transferring to airtight containers, I had the idea to freeze some of them into ice cubes! Before popping the cube tray of water into the freezer, I lightly smashed some raspberries and dropped them into the mold either alone or with some whole blueberries (if I had thought this through a bit more I would have added some cut strawberries too… there’s always next time).
Pro tip: Since water expands as it freezes, I recommend filling each cube like 9/10ths of the way to give the ice room to “grow”.
The smashed raspberry bits kinda sank to the bottom of the mold while the blueberries tended to float so it created kind of a cool (unintended) “red, white and blue” separation — bonus: the berries totally added an extra bit of fruity essence to my beverage! To be a bit more festive, you could use this adorable star-shaped ice cube tray… how fun, especially for kiddos!
You could totally use these cubes to zjoosh up a glass of sparkling water. I think this particular fruit pairing would be delicious in a glass of Cran-Raspberry or Mixed Berry La Croix.
For a bit’o’booze, add the cubes to a spiked seltzer (such as Truly’s Mixed Berry or Blueberry Açaí) or maybe even a sparkling rosé! (Are you noticing a trend here? Your girl LOVES bubbles).
Sorry for the grainy photo, but this was our view of the fireworks display last year in Bar Harbor and it was the best Fourth of July weekend in recent memory so I had to share. I hope that wherever (and however) you spend your holiday this year that you have a sparkling Independence Day!