Tis the season for Pimms and Lemonade, Gin & Tonic with an extra slice and basically anything with some ice. So we need to get the ice at its best. To do this I freeze flowers etc. from the garden in my ice cubes so they can glam up the drinks.
I freeze, borage flowers, wild strawberries, Lemon Verbena, blackberries… really anything edible which will look good I’m a drink.
At the moment borage flowers and wild strawberries are plentiful, so, out you go and pick some, with the borage, you just want the petals not any of the green stem, so this requires gently pulling the petal head which will come away as a whole from the stem.
Fill you ice-cube trays with water, then sit yourself down with a skewer or tweezers and gently push the flower into the water. I don’t bother to wash, the plants grow in my garden so are clean enough. I do though sit and watch for a few minutes, firstly to make sure the flower stays submerged, it needs to be frozen in the water completely without a petal sticking out. Also if there are any bugs on the petals it gives the little creatures a chance to climb out…. floating bugs can spoil the look of your classy drink!
Wild Strawberries… just the same.
I grow my wild strawberries along with my standard plants in containers on top of the coal shed. This way it keeps the chickens off them as well as the slugs, just a bit more difficult to pick!
My latest “freeze”; I went to a local hotel and had the largest of round goblets of Liverpool Gin and Tonic which contained juniper berries and a sprig of rosemary. My rosemary is in flower at the moment, so in small containers, or large ice trays I have added slightly crushed juniper berries I bought and some sprigs rosemary.
Once any of the ice cubes have frozen you can take them out of the trays and keep them in a freezer bag, freeing up you trays to freeze more.
I always try to squirrel some away until Christmas so I can add some summer joy to festive drinks.