The Cooler Tavern: Strawberry Cubes Forever

Sometimes you read or hear a food tip and it sounds like a good idea. Then you try it and realize that the idea is simple genius. An inspiration.

This is a story of a traditional shaken daiquiri served over strawberry ice cubes. You may thank me for this all summer long.

I don't have very good self-control when I go to farmers' markets and see all the picked-ripe produce grown in the local region. So when I bought a few too much strawberries at Chicago's Green City Market on Wednesday, then discovered when I got home that some were a bit overripe, I knew that I'd have to find ways to use them quickly. A bunch of them went into the strawberry-raspberry-rhubarb cobbler about which I posted the other day, but there still were some left that I didn't want to spoil.

That's when I remembered a hint I'd read recently -- and I have to admit that I don't remember where -- about pureeing fruit, then freezing it in ice cube trays and using it instead of regular ice cubes. Instead of watering down the drink as the ice melts, the fruit cubes would instead add flavor.

So I pureed a couple of cups of berries with the juice of a half lemon and a splash of sweetener (I've been using a blue agave syrup from Trader Joe's lately), and poured it all into an ice cube tray. The predictably pretty result looks like this...

The result in the glass is so much fun that I think this would be great to serve to guests at a summer cookout. First, make the daiquiri (2 ounces of light rum, juice of one fresh lime, about 1/2 oz. of sweetener, shaken over regular ice cubes), then pour over the strawberry cubes in a rocks glass. The cubes rise to the top and it actually takes them a while to start melting. As they do, that strawberry flavor and color slowly combine with the drink.

Unless you gulp it -- and you'll want to sip this -- you'll eventually have a strawberry daiquiri, or maybe more accurately, a deconstructed frozen daiquiri. And when you get to the bottom, there likely will be what's left of the strawberry cubes, tasting something like rum-spiked sorbet. The whole thing is incredibly refreshing.

I think this would work well with a lot of sweet-and-sour drinks made with white spirits, including a margarita. I may be able to answer that question by the end of the evening.



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  • Thanks, Adian, that sounds great!

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    I've tried this with bitters too- plain angustora, but I cooked up some cherries and lemon, let it cool into a mush, added the bitters. Very tasty.

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