Happy hour just got a lot more interesting, thanks to these cocktails with infused ice cubes. Add some sass to your glass as you toast the end of the day with a stunning sipper. Not near any of these restaurants? Find a spot that’s right for you on OpenTable.com.
Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia
It’s a bit of a science experiment at Alma Cocina, where tequila cubes have their own section on the menu. Blocks and tequila are served side-by-side on a tray so guests can pour their own drink and experiment with flavors as the cube melts. In the Anejo, Don Julio is paired with coffee and a maple-infused cube; the Reposado features FGR Herradura Double Reposado tequila with a frozen delight melding passion fruit, mango, agave, blood orange, vanilla, and guajillo chili. Make a reservation at Alma Cocina.
Gabriel Kreuther, New York, New York
February seems like the right time to try a Romantic Hero — one of Michelin-starred chef Gabriel Kreuther’s favorite cocktails that uses herbal homemade ice cubes. Featuring rye, vermouth, hibiscus, and lemon, the cubes — or spheres in this case — feature edible and non-edible herbs, like the Hero’s English rose. Make a reservation at Gabriel Kreuther.
Tanta, Chicago, Illinois
Spice and ice are twice as nice when it comes to El Chingon, an indulgence with a bite. Jalapeño tequila and mezcal, cilantro, and lime meet ice infused with the piquant Peruvian rocoto chile, a spicy pepper that has been cultivated in Peru for thousands of years. Make a reservation at Tanta.
Habitat, Miami, Florida
The Love Hurts hurts so good. This is a sweet-n-spicy combination that packs a one-two “punch”, thanks to hibiscus guajillo-infused ice. A lime wheel and pepper rim add pizzazz. Make a reservation at Habitat.
Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, Pasadena, California
Steaks aren’t exactly renowned as light fare, so try balancing a juicy filet with a Garden Series cocktail, featuring spheres and squares infused with lavender, rosemary, basil, berries, and other edible flowers, all grown on-site at The Langham’s new Wentworth Garden. Make a reservation at Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse.
The Skylark, New York, New York
The stunning views of the Hudson River, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and midtown Manhattan aren’t the only thing that’s a winner at Skylark — each night one lucky tippler gets a lucky custom poker chip ice cube. When it melts, they find their winning coin is worth $25 of food and drinks. Try an apple cider mojito or buffalo chicken poutine. Make a reservation at The Skylark.
Ocean Prime, Denver, Colorado
This flower’s always in, no matter what the season. Fresh and fruity with a spritz of citrus, the Black Orchid is one of the most beloved cocktails at Ocean Prime (with other locations including Washington, D.C., and Dallas). It features Belvedere Black Raspberry, elderflower, white cranberry juice, and housemade lemon simple syrup with a flower in a cube that peeks out from the surface. Make a reservation at Ocean Prime.
Barton G., Los Angeles, California
The theatrics don’t stop at the studio in the City of Angels, where Barton G’s Buddhalicious and Sabrinatini 3.0 arrive with a splash of panache. Innovative alcoholic popsicles do the impossible — freezing alcohol — by bringing them down to -320F degrees. Buddalicious features nitrogenized pear vodka with lychee and cranberry juice; the Sabrinatini is a refreshing martini with orange vodka and watermelon liqueur served with a chocolate monkey and Champagne popsicle. Make a reservation at Barton G.
Grant Grill, San Diego, California
Rapper Ice Cube takes center stage in a different form at Grant Grill, where the latest cocktail menu titled “Gin & Juice” pays homage to seasonal citrus, gin, and West Coast hip-hop stars. Infused cubes feature the likeness of some of California’s most buzz-worthy word wizards. Make a reservation at Grant Grill.
Del Frisco’s Grille, Atlanta, Georgia
Gratification isn’t instant but so worth the wait at Del Frisco’s, where the Spanish Gin Tonic’s cardamom-infused cube melts to imbue small-batch gin with apple cardamom shrub and tonic with the herbal and notes of the spice. Make a reservation at Del Frisco’s Grille.
Matadora, Woburn, Massachusetts
A cocktail with health benefits? Sign us up! Cubes are infused with butterfly pea pollen — purported to relieve stress and serve as an antidepressant — and melt into vodka, orange liqueur, grapefruit liqueur, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Matadora.
Rebel’s Guild, Boston, Massachusetts
Tea isn’t the only beverage Boston should be famous for these days, thanks to Rebel’s Guild. Benjamin’s Black Walnut Boulevardier balances bourbon, black walnut bitters, the cherry-flavored Maurin Quina digestif, and a delightfully chewy candied young walnut — all balanced by an ice cube that’s half water and half Aperol. Make a reservation at Rebel’s Guild.
Have you been ordering cocktails with infused ice cubes? Let us know where here or over on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Carley Wade is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Mistey Nguyen (Tanta).