Homemade infused water might just be the best thing ever to quell your thirst on a hot summer day. Personally, I love plain water and never tire of it, but a splash of fruity goodness in your water definitely kicks things up a notch!
If you've ever gotten a massage from a high-end spa, you're probably familiar with the cucumber or citrus waters that frequent the relaxation areas. But those are only two flavors out of oh, a gazillion possible options. The flavor combinations truly are endless when you think of all the fresh fruit, vegetable and herb possibilities.
Flavor is one consideration, but don't forget about potential health bonuses. For instance, if you're looking for an infused water to help with detox, add a little lemon. And if you want an infused water to help with digestion, add a little ginger. It really is that simple.
Infused waters not only help you drink more H20 (always a good thing!), they have virtually no added calories or sugars. You're just getting the "essence" of flavor. What's more? Homemade infused waters don't contain processed colors, flavorings and artificial sweeteners commonly found in those overly-priced, sugary, supermarket "vitamin" water alternatives. Yep, you know the ones I'm talking about!
So clearly there's lots of benefits. But one last bonus? They just look so darn pretty! Little glass bottle works of art. And who doesn't love that?
How to make infused water
Before you dive into the flavor combinations, make sure that you have a proper container. Glass containers, such as water bottles, mason jars and Weck juice jars work the best. If I'm taking an infused water to the beach with me, I'll put it in a narrow top water bottle as the top stays tight. BUT that same bottle wouldn't be a good option for large fruits and vegetables! In that case, a mason jar or Weck jar works best. So keep that in mind when you're deciding what flavor to make.
Then, it's as easy as slicing your fruits and veggies, adding them to your container, topping with any herbs or flowers and filling your container with water. There's no right or wrong way to do it – and definitely no measuring necessary! After you've done it a few times, you'll learn how many ingredients to add to get your desired level of flavor.
A few tips to get the best flavor:
- Use a muddler to gently mash your fruits and vegetables in the container. Then fill with ice (if you desire) and top off with water.
- When using citrus, remove the peel to reduce any bitter flavor.
- Crush herbs in your hands to help release their natural oils, then place in your container. If herbs or flowers have lots of "little bits" (i.e. thyme or lavender), wrap them in cheesecloth before infusing.
- Infuse for at least 4 hours (though preferably overnight) to really dial up the flavor.
Infused Water Ingredients
When choosing fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, always make sure whatever you put in the water is organic and pesticide-free. You want all the good stuff and none of the bad!
Here's a few ideas for you:
Fruits: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, honey dew, cantaloupe, pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, pomegranate, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, grapes, apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, blood oranges, limes and lemons.
Vegetables: cucumber, celery, fennel, carrots and sweet peppers
Herbs & Spices: vanilla, ginger, mint, basil, thyme, cardamom, chamomile, sage, rosemary and cilantro
Edible Flowers: lavender, rose, hibiscus, honeysuckle, violets and pansies
Water: filtered or sparkling water
Infused Water Flavor Combination
My top five flavor combinations:
- peach + nectarine + vanilla
- lemon + lime + ginger
- strawberry + cucumber + mint
- cantaloupe + watermelon + basil
- blackberry + blueberry + sage
10 more awesome flavor combinations
- tangerine + mint
- pear + plum + grapes
- pineapple + mango + ginger
- raspberry + orange
- blueberry + lavender
- kiwi + pomegranate + mint
- orange + lemon + cilantro
- apple + pear + cinnamon
- cherry + vanilla
- cucumber + kiwi
- celery + lemon + ginger
How to Store Your Infused Water
When I make infused water, it really doesn't sit around very long. I'll polish off the entire container usually in a day! But if you make a larger batch or drink less frequently, your infused water will last in the fridge for about a week. If you drink it slowly, you'll notice a stronger infused flavor. But you can also refill your container with fresh water as you deplete it. This will make the flavor less intense over time, but you can keep doing this until you no longer have any hint of flavor.
The biggest takeaway with making infused water – have fun with it! So go get creative!