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Flowers on Ice

 

Keeping wine cool is easy enough--but keeping it cool in a bucket made of fresh flowers suspended in stunning, flower-filled ice is like the world’s best magic trick. But it’s easier than it looks, and trust us, it’s worth the effort. Here’s how to do it.

 

What you’ll need:

Fresh flowers (a lot or just a few, your choice)

A large empty can (like a large tomato juice can)

A 5-quart bucket

Something heavy that can be frozen to create weight inside the can--rocks, beans, pie weights, anything heavy enough to prevent it from floating

Ice cubes

A low, flat-bottomed container with at least a 1-inch depth

A clean, fresh, pretty towel

 

What to do:

Gather your flowers--a variety or all the same kind. Cut off stems but keep the green leaves. (Use fresh mint leaves for even more vivid color.) Place the empty large can inside the bucket. Fill the can with the weighted material. Place a thin layer of ice cubes around the bottom of the bucket (between bucket and can). Arrange the flowers inside the bucket, alternating between individual blooms and small clusters. Face flowers toward the outside of the bucket. Use ice to secure flowers in place. Fill the bucket to the top with ice and water, being sure to eliminate any air pockets between the ice and the flowers. Fill to about 1½ inches from the top (to allow for ice expansion). Place the bucket into the freezer until it freezes solidly.

 

To unmold, remove the weighted material in the can. Then fill the can partway with hot water. Let this sit for five to ten minutes. If the can does not release, repeat. Once you’ve removed the can, run hot water around the outside of the bucket. Pull out the molded ice and set it atop a piece of plastic wrap in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, remove your beautiful floral ice bucket from the freezer, place it on top of a thick cloth towel inside a large platter with a high edge or large shallow bowl, and pop in your favorite bottle of Chandon. The more flowers you use, the faster the floral ice bucket will melt. So think about making more than one, depending on how many bottles you need to chill and how long you need to keep them cool.