Flavoring Water at Home

Recipes | | July 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

As temperatures heat up, keeping hydrated is essential for your body’s internal mechanisms and to improve your external appearance as well. Water is the best beverage option to provide fluids without any of the negative affects of other drinks—caffeine, sugar, unnecessary calories and artificial dyes.

However drinking water, water and more water all day can get boring, quick.  Especially when soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices and even an ice cold beer are calling your name! So, to combat the urge for junky drinks, keep a batch of ice cold infused water in your refrigerator.

Infused waters originated from the Spanish aguas frescas, or sweet waters infused with fresh fruits or vegetables.  Most people have been lucky enough to enjoy “spa water,” or water infused with sliced cucumber or citrus fruits, while waiting for a massage or facial.  These infused waters have a very light, refreshing flavor that’s decidedly not just water, but not as heavy as a juice. It’s also surprisingly simple and practically free, looks beautiful in a pitcher and will be sure to impress your guests this summer. Here’s how to create this refreshingly light beverage yourself:

  1. Thinly slice fruits or vegetables.
  2. Tear fresh herbs to release the essences and aromas.
  3. Add ingredients to a pitcher of filtered water and refrigerate (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight—the longer it sits, the more intense the flavor will be).
  4. Pour over ice, garnish with a slice of fruit or a sprig of herbs, and enjoy!
Mint (above), basil and lavender are all great additions to spice up your water.  Photo Courtesy of Culinary Concepts

Mint, basil and lavender are all great additions to spice up your water.

My favorite combinations:

  • Strawberry-Basil Water (great bright red/green color contrast, and an amazing sweet, complex flavor)
  • Cucumber-Lemon Water (oldie-but-goodie! Drink this on a super hot day and you’ll never go back to plain water again!)
  • Pineapple-Mint Water (a fun, tropical flavor, pairs well with Southeast Asians foods like Thai and Vietnamese)
  • Citrus-Lavender Water (envision a tall glass in the  late afternoon on your back porch—perfection! Of course lavender is also known for it’s calming/relaxing properties)

Infusing Tips:

  • You can invent your own recipes for fruit-infused water with whatever you have on hand, or what’s ripe at the time.
  • Infuse with various herbs from your garden and even flowers (check here to make sure they are safe first).
  • If you’re watching calories or carbs, avoid high sugar fruits like tangerines and mango and opt for lemons, limes and blackberries.
  • On the go and need a bottle?  Don’t have time to infuse yourself? Check out Hint flavored bottled waters.
What are your favorite infused water recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

LauraLaura Seery creates memorable events for San Diego's most discerning eaters at Culinary Concepts Catering. A graduate of University of California, San Diego and a self-taught chef, Laura enjoys writing for her blog about all things delicious, nutritious and green.

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  1. Mama__B says:

    We’ve recently started making cucumber mint water and it is indeed very refreshing. I have some peaches in the fridge. I should try some with some lemon thyme.