Why Your Cocktails Deserve Frozen Fruit Over Fresh

Adding fruit to cocktails is nothing new. While fruit juice is often used as a mixer, fresh fruit more often takes on the role of an edible cocktail garnish. If you want your cocktail to be beautifully decorated, delicious, and possibly even a bit stronger than your typical fruity drink, use frozen fruit rather than fresh. By doing so, the frozen fruit doubles as both an edible garnish and a substitute for ice.

While still frozen, the fruit helps keep your drink chilled. As the frozen fruit starts to thaw, all of its delicious juices will slowly incorporate into your drink. This provides added sweetness and flavor without watering down your cocktail like traditional ice cubes do. Plus, once you finish your drink, you have booze-soaked fruit to enjoy (if that's your thing). To find the perfect frozen fruit for your drink, go with flavors that complement the drink's ingredients: frozen cranberries for a Sea Breeze or Cape Codder, frozen strawberries in a strawberry vodka lemonade, frozen stone fruit for summer sangria, or even fancy frozen cherries for an Old Fashioned.

Use store-bought frozen fruit or freeze some yourself

In addition to keeping your drink cold without watering it down, another great thing about frozen fruit is that it's less expensive to keep on hand, especially since it won't mold in your fridge before you have a chance to use it. Frozen fruit is also just as nutritious as fresh, if not more. Further, some of the best frozen fruits to buy are already sliced, chopped, or otherwise prepared, making it super easy to add just the right amount to your drink without any extra work.

There is, however, at least one potential advantage to making your own frozen fruit. If you already make your cocktails pretty heavy-handed and want a little bit of ice to water them down, freezing fruit in ice cube trays with a little bit of water can give you the best of both worlds. You can also use this method to freeze garnishes like citrus wedges or sprigs of mint that are virtually impossible to find pre-frozen in the grocery store. If you choose to freeze your own, just be sure to avoid some of the common fruit-freezing mistakes by washing your fruit, letting it dry completely, and keeping track of how long it's been in the freezer. That way, your frozen fruit garnishes will make the perfect addition to your next batch of cocktails.