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DIY Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes for Frosty Festivity

Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes in Pitcher

Amidst the enchantment of the holiday season, there’s unique joy in the tiny details that enhance and personalize a gathering. Today, we’re delving into the world of DIY magic with Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes – a small, frosty treasure that will add sparkle to your festivities! Guests will delight in sipping beverages adorned with frozen citrus slices, cranberries, and mint; capturing the essence of the season in every sip. What makes this crafting venture even more special? The ability to create these chilly little wonders ahead of time.  Infuse your celebration with magic without succumbing to the holiday rush. Join me in discovering the art of making Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes.   They are a small, yet impactful way to enhance seasonal entertaining with ease.

Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes 101:  Supplies & Equipment

Clear Ice

For crafting Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes, let’s begin by gathering our key ingredients for this frosty endeavor. You’ll need fresh oranges, cranberries, mint leaves and tap or distilled water. While distilled water is often recommended to avoid cloudiness, a deeper exploration of achieving crystal-clear ice can be found in my guide on “Decorative Clear Floral Ice Cubes.”

For this project, I’ve opted for the Clearly Frozen container, a compact and efficient tool that has consistently delivered excellent results in my freezer. If you’re interested in exploring this option further, you can find more information through the provided link. The container comes with user-friendly instructions, making the freezing process a breeze.

(Disclosure: Late Bloomer in Bakerville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising revenues by advertising and linking to )

Fruit Choice

Now, let’s talk about the importance of choosing quality ingredients. Considering that the fruits and mint will become part of your beverages, you may want to opt for organic varieties. Ensure they are well-washed to guarantee a fresh and clean addition to your drinks.

Fruit Prep

When it comes to slicing the oranges, I recommend using a sharp knife to achieve thin slices, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. This thickness allows for easy arrangement within the ice cube chambers. To ensure the slices stand upright, I suggest cutting off a small portion at the bottom of each orange slice.  This provides a flat surface for stability.  As for the cranberries and mint leaves, washing is the only prep step they need.

Clean Up

And, there’s no need to fret about waste from scraps or left-overs – I have a plan for those at the end of this post. 

Groceries and Ice Tray for Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes
Sliced Oranges Cranberries and Mint

Composing Frosty Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes

Creating these Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes is a fun process that transforms simple ingredients into enchanting little works of art. Follow these steps to craft your own frosty blooms:

Fold and Arrange Orange Slices:
  • Begin by folding one orange slice into an arc shape, envisioning the petals of a flower blossom.
  • Add additional slices, overlapping them in the arc shape to form the bloom. Four slices usually suffice for a full and beautiful shape.
Integrate Cranberries:
  • Enhance the appeal by adding cranberries to the blossom centers. Tuck them strategically to achieve a balanced and aesthetically pleasing arrangement.
  • If the centers of some of the blossoms may be wide.  Just add enough cranberries so at least one or two are visible at the top center of the bloom.
Incorporate Mint Leaves:
  • Tuck mint leaves in between orange slices or in with cranberries in the center.
Mindful Placement:
  • If the mint, cranberries and orange slices are not snug against one another in the compartment, they may float to the top when water is added. Adjust the placement to avoid this.
  • Trim any mint that extends above the ice surface to prevent freezer burn, if necessary.
Allow for Some Flexibility:
  • Orange skins and cranberries above the ice surface can contribute to the visual appeal and architectural interest of the cubes.
Fill with Water and Freeze:
  • Once the compartments are fully arranged with fruit, fill each one with water to the top of the ice tray compartments.

Your Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes are now ready for their icy transformation in the freezer.

Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes in Tray
Closeup of Oranges, Cranberries and Mint in Ice Cube Trays

Chill Time: Waiting for the Magic

As the Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes move from liquid to frozen elegance, the waiting game begins. If you’re using the Clearly Frozen container, follow the simple instructions provided for filling. However, if you have a different tray, adjust your filling process accordingly.

In my freezer, the process takes approximately 24 hours of freeze time. The container relies on a clever process of freezing from the bottom first, pushing air bubbles to the top. This sometimes results in one compartment playfully popping up from the tray due to the pressure. It never fails to bring a giggle when I open the freezer and see the one cube standing at attention.  The rest of the cubes always stay consistent and lovely.

At this point, the finished cubes are ready to be loosened from the tray to either store or serve to guests.  Gently remove them, and if you’re like me, marvel at their whimsical nature and appeal!

Finished Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes with one popped up from Tray
Single Citrus Bloom Ice Cube

Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes from Tray to Glass

These enchanting cubes are now ready to transition from tray to glass and elevate your holiday celebration with a touch of frosty elegance. While my ice tray typically produces crystal-clear cubes, I wanted to note that a hint of mist may appear in these.  This is due to a scant bit of orange juice from the slices mixing with the fresh water during the filling process. This subtle mist only adds to the magic, creating cubes that are still stunning and delightful, albeit a fraction less transparent than usual.

Now, let’s explore three delightful ways to enjoy these frozen wonders:

Beverage Bliss:
  • Drop a few Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes into your favorite beverage glass for an instant visual and sensory delight. Watch as the seasonal colors and floral shapes bloom in your drink, adding a touch of whimsy to every sip.
Pitcher Perfect:
  • Elevate the festive brightness of any gathering by adding Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes to a pitcher. Whether it’s infused water, punch, or a refreshing cocktail, these cubes will not only chill your drink but also serve as a stunning centerpiece.
Champagne and Wine Chillers:
  • Take your celebrations to the next level by using Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes to chill champagne and wine in an ice bucket. The cubes will add a touch of sophistication to your bubbly.  They’re the perfect accompaniment for toasting the holiday season and carrying the elegance into a New Year’s celebration.
A Dazzling Display:
  • Extend the magic of Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes beyond the glass and into the winter landscape by using them as enchanting outdoor décor.  If temps are below freezing, arrange cubes along the porch rail, letting them catch the glow of clear Christmas lights. The frozen blooms, backlit by the twinkling lights, cast a captivating and ethereal glow, turning your outdoor space into a magical scene.  Embrace the possibility that wildlife might take an interest in them as well.
Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes in Pitcher
Bottle of Bubbly in Citrus Blossom Ice Bucket

Zero-Waste: Make A Fragrance Simmer From Scraps

In the spirit of sustainable crafting, we can repurpose the scraps from these Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes.  There’s no need to toss aside the end caps or sliced-off bits of orange.  The bits of citrus and mint will find new life as a fragrant stovetop simmer.

To create this zero-waste holiday fragrance, gather the citrus, mint and cranberry scraps, mint leftovers. (There will be a lot of cranberries left.  I reserved some for the simmer and saved the rest for stringing garland).  Place leftover scraps in a saucepan on the stove.  Cover them with water for a simmer that releases a burst of seasonal fragrance. I took it a step further by adding a cinnamon stick to infuse a hint of warmth and spice into the air.

This fragrance simmer isn’t a one-time indulgence. After the mixture cools, you can transfer it to a mason jar.  You can store it in the fridge and reheat it on the stove for several rounds of seasonal bliss. I’m currently on my third day of enjoying the fragrant remnants from my Citrus Bloom Ice Cubes project. I do have a previous post for Cranberry Orange Spice Holiday Simmer that I did prior to exploring options this year for holiday ice cubes.  If you are interested in that, I have provided the link for you.

Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Simmer in Saucepan

So, go ahead and freeze a little holiday magic and create a lovely seasonal simmer with the leftovers!  I hope this do-ahead project has offered a touch of whimsy to your holiday celebrations. I have more holiday inspiration to share when you’re ready!

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