For the longest time, the British Guy resisted ice cubes.
I think he thought they represented American frivolity, silliness and general ridiculous behavior - this freezing of water to put into drinks that generally come straight out of the refrigerator to start with.
More understandable, perhaps when you realize that this was the strongly held belief of a guy whose favorite (sorry, favourite...) headline growing up was 'Britain Sizzles in the Seventies!'
Nothing like nine (and counting) sweltering midwestern summers of melting into a little British puddle to convince him that ice cubes are not just for fun, they are a necessity.
A constitutional obligation, even.
Now that he's been won over, however, it's not just me to blame when the empty ice cube tray gets left on the counter, unfilled and not participating in the making of more ice cubes. Even worse, when the near-empty ice cube tray makes its way back into the freezer, because, let's face it, one ice cube left basically counts as empty, whether you think so or not (sweetie...).
The scenario: a glass filled to the brim with ice.
Add a cold drink of choice - tea, coffee, juice, elderflower cordial.
The problem: Mere minutes later, the ice melts and your perfectly balanced drink is watery and diluted.
What to do to fix this summer conundrum?
The solution: Ice your drinks with cubes of frozen drink.
Want iced coffee? Freeze coffee. Or coffee concentrate for rocket-fueled sipping.
Want iced tea? Freeze tea.
Want iced elderflower cordial? Freeze elderflower cordial. Or cordial concentrate, even.
Want to be wild and crazy ?
Mix iced tea with cordial ice cubes. Or lemonade ice cubes, for an offbeat Arnold Palmer.
Fruit juice with tea cubes. Or tea with fruit juice cubes.
Milk with coffee cubes.
It's like those flip books with different heads, bodies and legs to choose from.
Make any combo you want.
Add pieces of fruit, or edible flowers and leaves, for even more interest and texture. Grapes freeze particularly well, and when the cubes melt you have a cool and tasty snack left in your glass.
Use different sized or shaped containers to freeze in, and remember that as an added bonus larger cubes melt slower than smaller ones - it's that whole surface area to volume thing.
One stonking big cube of frozen coffee extract in an iced latte, full of deep coffee flavor from the first to the very last sip?
Cool, chilly, refreshing heaven.