Our bodies are about 60% water, so it’s important to hydrate throughout the day. However, if your taste buds occasionally need a bit more dazzle than pure, plain water can provide, try infused water. It’s also a pleasant way for soda-aholics, or those addicted to artificially sweetened or high sugar juices, to kick the habit, satisfy thirst and do the body a big favor. And homemade flavored waters can be quite elegant looking, a real guest-impresser.
1. Choose a fruit and/or herb combo (preferably organic, only fresh, no dried or frozen), e.g., lemon-ginger; orange-lavender; lime-sage; strawberry-lemon-mint; orange-lime; strawberry-pineapple; cucumber-lemon-celery; apple-cinnamon stick-red pear; kiwi-orange; watermelon-strawberry; lemon-mint-ginger-cucumber; apple-orange-cinnamon-clove; grapefruit-rosemary; lemon-raspberry-mint; blueberry-orange, ad infinitum.
2. Wash, and cut up about a palmful of fruit and herbs. Remove citrus peel. Bruise herbs slightly to subtly increase the release of flavor. Softer fruits (e.g. citrus, strawberries) can be sliced fairly thin, halved or quartered. Harder fruits (e.g., apples) should be very thinly cut. Loose herbs or flowers (e.g. lavender buds, rose petals, dried hibiscus) can be put in a tea infuser or cheesecloth.
3. Place in a pitcher, glass water bottle or mason jar. Fill with pure, cool or room temperature water (preferably distilled or reverse osmosis).
4. Before placing in refrigerator, mix up or gently press fruits with the back of a wooden spoon to help release flavors. Allow to steep in the ’fridge for up to 24 hours, depending on how strong you like the flavor.
5. If you haven’t drunk the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Warning: Instead of counting sheep at night, you might find yourself conjuring up new, exotic infused water combos!