Orange Bitter Ice Cubes

Flavor: An aromatic combo of orange peel, orange bitters, and orange-flower water.
How to pair it: Create an amplified Negroni with Nolet's gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth.
Recipe:
From Jimmy, NYC; jimmysoho.com

½ gallon water
⅛ cup orange flower water
10 dashes orange bitters, preferably by Fee Brothers

In a pitcher, stir water, orange-flower water, and bitters together. Working in batches, pour into ice-cube molds and freeze. Makes 60 cubes.

Cinnamon Ice Cubes

Flavor: A spiced cube suited to the first whiff of autumn.
How to pair it: Top with Knob Creek bourbon and maple syrup, then garnish with a red shiso leaf to make a Legal in Vermont cocktail.
Recipe:
From Jimmy, NYC; jimmysoho.com

½ gallon water
½ cup sugar
5 whole cinnamon sticks, crumbled

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, let cool, and, working in batches, strain into ice-cube molds.Add a piece of crushed cinnamon stick to each mold and freeze. Makes about 60 cubes.

Green Tea Ice Cubes

Flavor: A cube of sweetened tea sharpened with lime peel.
How to pair it: Add to muddled shiso, lime cordial, Junmai Nigori unfiltered sake, and Suntory Yamazaki Japanese whisky for a Harajuku Gimlet.
Recipe:
From Hotel Griffou, NYC; griffou.com

½ gallon water
½ cup sugar
3 green tea bags
3 limes, peeled and cut into quarter-inch strips

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring to dissolve, followed by tea bags and lime peels.Steep until cool, then, working in batches, strain into ice-cube molds and freeze. Makes about 60 cubes.

Thyme Ice Cubes

Flavor: A pungent but mixable wave of the herb's oils.
How to pair it: Drop into a mix of Linie aquavit, Luxardo limoncello, and Hoegaarden wheat beer for a Northern European spin on the shandy.
Recipe:
From Hotel Griffou, NYC; griffou.com

3 five-inch fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups water

Using sharp scissors, cut away the horizontal dividers in a silicone ice mold, leaving three elongated sections. Place a sprig of thyme in each section, fill with water, and freeze. Makes 3 ice spears.

Ginger Ice Cubes

Flavor: The spicy root's sneaky heat augmented by infused jalapeño.
How to pair it: Turn a straight whiskey into a Base Burner cocktail by adding to Four Roses bourbon.
Recipe:
From Holland House, Nashville; hollandhousebarandrefuge.com

2 cups sugar
2½ cups water
½ cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 jalapeño, halved
½ cup lemon juice

In a saucepan, combine sugar, 2 cups water, ginger, and jalapeño in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and steep in the fridge for 24 hours to make a ginger syrup. Working in batches, strain the syrup and fill ice-cube molds halfway with the mixture. Mix the remaining ½ cup water with the lemon juice, use it to top up the molds, and freeze. Makes about 20–25 cubes.

Honey-Avocado Ice Cubes

Flavor: The fleshy green fruit tinged with honey and brightened with lime juice.
How to pair it: Mix with Ilegal brand mezcal and garnish with a strawberry to create the Yo La Tengo #2 cooler.
Recipe:
From Holland House, Nashville; hollandhousebarandrefuge.com

1 whole avocado, seeded and peeled
2 oz honey
2 oz fresh lime juice
1 cup water

Purée all ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture into ice-cube molds and freeze. Makes 10 cubes. 

Rhubarb Ice Cubes

Flavor: The fruit's tartness balanced with sugar and tinged with cinnamon.
How to pair it: Build a Marco Polo highball with Cynar digestif and Fever Tree bitter-lemon soda.
Recipe:
From Holland House, Nashville; hollandhousebarandrefuge.com

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
¾ lb rhubarb, sliced into ¼-inch cubes
¾ lb rhubarb, sliced into ¼-inch cubes
1 cinnamon stick

In a saucepan, bring sugar and 1 cup water to a simmer. Add rhubarb and cinnamon stick. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and refrigerate mixture for 24 hours. Strain, add 1 cup water, pour into ice-cube molds, and freeze. Makes 15 cubes.

Lime Ice Cubes

Flavor: The bracing quality of fresh lime juice and peel cut with enough water to freeze it.
How to pair it: Make a refreshing Southern Cola with bitter Amaro CioCiaro and sugary Mexican Coke.
Recipe:
From Holeman and Finch, Atlanta; holeman-finch.com

1 cup fresh lime juice 
½ cup water

Mix juice and water, pour into ice cube molds, and freeze. Makes 10 cubes.

Coconut

Flavor: The milky juice of young fruit frozen into blocks.
How to pair it: Shake up a Sal's Minion with English Harbour aged rum and Small Hand Foods pineapple syrup, then top with a lime wheel.
Recipe:
From Rum Bar, Portland; beakerandflask.com

2 cups coconut water, preferably Vita Coco

Distribute coconut water evenly in ice cube molds and freeze.  Makes 15 cubes.

The Country's Best Icehouses / Where the bartenders get creative with their cubes.

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