Monday, April 18, 2011

Infused Water

A few months ago, when I started this diet, I was looking for drinks that fit the "healthy" category instead of just plain water. I know some people who love water, and unfortunately, I am not one of them. I need flavor.  And most flavored waters on the market have sucrose or other sugars as additives that are not part of the diet. So I had to hunt down some waters that only include two ingredients: water and natural flavors... sounds easy right? Apparently only Starbucks and Fresh Market carry these, at lease in my area of town. Here is what I found:

Ayala's herbal water was one of my favorites. The lemongrass mint vanilla and the lavender mint are truly heavenly. However, at $2.69 a bottle, and a tiny bottle at that, I could buy almost a gallon of milk. Or an entire bag of dark chocolate Hershey kisses (also on the diet, in small quantities). So I looked at another option:


Hint water is also delicious. They have less exotic flavors than herbal water, but all are crisp and refreshing. And I liked that Starbucks also sells the blackberry flavor of Hint water, so no matter where I was during the day, I could hunt down a flavored water at Starbucks. These too are pricey at $1.50 per bottle. For water.

Since Summer is here fast approaching in Florida, I find myself craving more refreshing and cold water, with a hint of something. So I thought one day, why can't I make these myself? Is there really anything difficult about adding some flavors to water? I mean, why else would such tiny bottles be so expensive?!

And honestly, I cannot tell you why they are so expensive. I can only tell you how to make your own cheaper and much more easily than hunting down your nearest Starbucks or health food store. I debuted my cucumber water and rosemary mint water at the MISRED Bloggers Unite, and have decided that these would be a staple at every event to come this spring and summer!

Here are the four easy steps:
1. Grab a pitcher or bottle to make the water in. I like the clear bottles from Ikea (below) that have their own stoppers, and they are inexpensive enough to buy a few for different flavors. Plus they look pretty in the fridge.

2. Decide what flavors you want to infuse your water with. I have used slices of fruits and veggies like lemon, lime, cucumber, orange peel- just clean them really well, and cut them in long thin slices in order to get them both in and out of the bottle. I like to use about half of one fruit or vegetable for good measure, so for cucumber water, I use 1/2 cucumber sliced longways with the middle seeds removed. If you were using orange peel, then use the peel of half of an orange. Using herbs like mint (spearmint and peppermint), rosemary, and lavender also gives water a great flavor, and I like to use at least 1 whole stem per herb in my waters.  I also recommend only leaving herbs in the water overnight, as they tend to get really concentrated in the water for a really strong flavor.

3. Place the additives in the bottle and add cold, filtered water. You could also add sparkling water to fancy it up!

my cucumber water (l), and rosemary spearmint water (r)

4. Chill overnight, and taste in the morning. If the water has reached your desired flavoring, I would recommend straining the water into another bottle (using a strainer and funnel) and removing the fruit/herbs. If it is not strong enough, leave the water in the bottle with additives for another 12-24 hours. Serve the water straight up or over ice.

There are certainly more recipes online, and some call for boiling the water and adding the herbs and letting it cool down before refrigerating. Some also call for straining minced herbs and fruits as part of the process, but I feel that if you use larger pieces (like an entire rosemary stem or cucumber slices), they are easier to remove and prevent tiny pieces from getting in your drink. They also give the bottles a pretty presentation.

I will be experimenting in the weeks to come with flavored vodkas, as I believe you should be able to infuse them in a similar way. Hope you enjoy this super easy and refreshing treat!

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and she has not been paid a dime for her review of these stores or products. Its just an FYI to DIY!

3 comments:

  1. YUM yum YUM! These waters look delicious and I know from experience that the cucumber water and rosemary spearmint water are so tasty! :)

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  2. ooh yummy!
    I am definitely going to try that!
    thanks for sharing!!!

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