Homemade, flavored waters are the newest summer trend. Using fresh fruit, herbs, spices, and even vegetables you can create exotic, refreshing, almost calorie free beverages at home at a fraction of the cost of the commercial types.
The water is beautiful, full of colorful, fresh ingredients. If you donâ€™t have a clear glass pitcher or beverage dispenser then try to get one so that youÂ can enjoy the visual refreshment as well.
Fill about 3/4 of the pitcher with filtered water and add the ingredients of your choice. Put it in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight. The water will be infused with delicate flavor from the fruit without a lot of added calories.
You can use frozen fruit but the end result will not be as pretty as when you use fresh. It will be just as flavorful, however.
Some combinations to try are:
- Orange slices, fresh or dried cranberries, and a couple of whole cloves or a cinnamon stick is a refreshing drink with a little spicy kick that will remind you of the holidays.
- Ripe, red strawberries and fresh basil leaves look beautiful together and are a unique combination.
- Cucumber and lime slices are a perfect way to cure that hot, parched feeling you get when you are outside in hot weather.
- For a healthy drink that is reminiscent of a Mojito, add mint leaves and lime slices to your water.
- Mango, pineapple, and coconut water from the store will create a refreshing, healthy Pina Colada.
- Ruby red grapefruit slices and a few slices of ginger added with restraint are delicious over ice or made with part club soda.
- Tangy red and green apple slices are fresh and delicious without any other additions.
- If you love sangria you will like this – steep slices of orange, lemon, lime, peach, pineapple, and strawberries in the water over night.
- Sliced strawberries and a few dried hibiscus flowers will give your water a beautiful color.
- Watermelon, cantaloupe and/or honey dew create a sweet beverage that can be given a more interesting flavor with a touch of good balsamic vinegar.
Tips for Creating Uniquely Flavored Water
- Donâ€™t be afraid to experiment with different herbs added to the infusions. Rosemary, basil, lemongrass, and parsley work well with more fruits.
- Herbal tea can be added to the water for extra flavor.
- Try coconut water or club soda instead of plain water for a change.
- If you need a little more sweetness, add just a tiny bit of pure cane sugar or stevia.
- Adding a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda will help restore electrolyte balance in your body after a workout.
- Freeze herb leaves and edible flowers in your ice cubes for added color and flavor when serving the water to guests.
- If you are using small herbs like lavender flowers or hibiscus, you can add them to a cheesecloth bag before steeping so you don’t have to strain the water before serving.
- Be careful about leaving the water in the refrigerator too long. After about a day the ingredients will start to break down and the water will get cloudy and unattractive.
Have you tried to make infused water yet? What’s your favorite?