A product that does away with the need to have fresh fruit on standby for making a gin & tonic or cocktails has been developed by new company Frecco.

It produces individually packaged ice cubes made from mineral water, fruit juice and added aroma that also contains a slice of fresh fruit. Created to add flavour to soft and alcoholic drinks as well as cool them down, it is designed to melt more slowly than standard ice cubes to avoid diluting the drink too much.

The brand is initially being launched in three of the most popular drink flavours - lime, lemon and orange - but a company spokeswoman said that additional, more interesting variations were likely to follow shortly.

"The possibilities for new products are limitless," she said.

"We are looking at introducing many different fruits, from pomegranate and apple to star fruit, depending on their popularity and the types of drinks people want to consume."

The products have been launched to capitalise on the growing trend of consumers to create complex drinks at home - and the resurgence of domestic

dinner and drinks parties.

The company is also in talks with Diageo GB over a collaboration with its Pimm's drink.

It plans to produce a mint, strawberry and cucumber variant - the fruits that usually accompany Pimm's - which would be promoted alongside the drink.

Frecco will be available via Waitrose online outlet Ocado from November - and in bars and restaurants - and listings are expected in multiple retailers to follow.

A marketing campaign for both the on and off-trades will support the launch.

A pack of ten ice cubes is priced at £2.99 and 20 at £4.99.