By Anna Kocharian

Published on July 14, 2016

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Photography by NOUBA

One major downside of entertaining outdoors? Chilled drinks that instantly become warm to the touch. So when standard ice cubes just won’t do, a little creativity is in order. Enter a few of our favorite summer hacks to keep your cocktails and brews chilled in style. Take a look!

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For an easy summer ice cube hack, fill ice cube trays with fresh fruit and herbs. Use the ice cubes to elevate anything and everything from a simple glass of water to pitchers of punch!

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Making punch for the party? Plop in generous scoops of sherbet for an added burst of flavor. Try mixing cranberry or raspberry sherbet with lemonade for a unique and chilled take on pink lemonade. 

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Fill ice cube trays with petals or small florals to later use in an ice bowl. Bonus points for ice cube trays that come in unique shapes or forms!

Get the how-to on Le Zoe Musings.

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Frozen raspberries make for rather elegant additions to cocktail hour, especially when it involves champagne. The best part? It is a surefire way to guarantee your bubbly maintains its level of chilled perfection. 

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Cucumber water is about as refreshing as a summer drink can possibly get. Think of this recipe as taking it a step further. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice off thin strips of a cucumber. Wrap the slice around the inside of a glass and freeze for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, remove the glass from the freezer and fill with a cocktail of your choice!

Get the recipe for this Cucumber-Lemonade Mocktail on Food & Wine

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File this one under best use of a summer melon. (Next to simply eating it, of course). Using a mini ice cream scooper, carve out little melon balls — everything from cantaloupe to watermelon works. Place them on a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze. Before serving the drinks, pop an eclectic assortment of the frozen melon balls into the glass and pour over the cocktail or water. The more colorful variety there is, the better!

Get the scoop on these melon ball ice cubes on Laylita’s Recipes

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Cocktails and popsicles make for the best pair! Couple your favorite bottle of bubbly with a fruity popsicle for an elevated take on ice cubes. Dessert and drinks in one? Sign us up!

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No one likes watered-down ice coffee, especially in the summer heat. Freeze coffee in ice cube trays and add it to a cold brew for the ultimate wake up call.

Get the recipe for this iced coffee on Food52

Find 33 more iced coffee hacks for summer here!

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Consider metallic ice buckets a thing of the past. Floral ice buckets are making a statement and we couldn’t be happier! Sure they may be more time-consuming to make, but there is no denying their charm and incomparable style. Don’t stop things at just florals! Experiment with vibrant fruit combos, veggies, and even herbs.

Get the how-to for this charming floral ice bucket on Sugar and Charm.

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Fruit and flowers are always a hit but confetti just takes it all to a new level! In lieu of the more organic variety, fill your party ice bucket with confetti flakes and plenty of glitter.  

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A childhood classic is reinvented with a more mature twist, and we simply cannot get enough! Can you think of a more effective method to keeping your drinks at their optimal level of coldness? Featuring blends such as Strawberry Pisco, Bramble, Gimlet, and Tequila Mango, these snow cone cocktails are not ones to miss!

Get the recipe for these Cocktail Snow Cones on Honestly Yum

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Cocktail in a cube? Consider us intrigued! These make-ahead concoctions are perfect for the summer hostess or entertainer. Simply prepare the non-alcoholic portion of the cocktail and freeze well ahead of time. Once the drinks are ready to be served, blend in the ice cube cocktails with their respective spirit, and serve!

Get the scoop and recipes for these Cocktail Ice Cubes on Earnest Home Co

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Line cocktail stir sticks or skewers with fruit and freeze before serving. These colorful treats are perfect for the DIY cocktail bar at your next fête!

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Popsicles and cocktails are more or less the essentials of a good summer gathering. There is no arguing there. So when the two come together, good things are sure to be in store. Enter a crisp and refreshing concoction featuring fresh watermelon juice, tequila, and a dash of sea salt, that will become your go-to summer brew. 

Get the recipe for this Salted Watermelon Margarita Popsicles on How Sweet It Is.

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Freeze water balloons and use them in lieu of ice in large buckets or trays! Bonus: once the water balloons have melted, a little game is surely in order!
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Take your water with a slice of lemon or lime? Freeze them in cupcake pans with water for an added hint of tart and chill!

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Need something with a slightly larger surface area? Opt for these amazing, flavored punch bowl rings!

Get the how-to on Sugar and Charm.