Drinking enough water every day can be a healthy habit–and a delicious one! Flavored water recipes are a fun way to add variety to your day. Plus, they are a fresh, flavorful and smart alternative to soda.
Sometimes you feel like plain water…sometimes you don’t! For those instances when you want to excite your taste buds–or wow your guests–there are plenty of healthy hydration options to choose from that won’t load you down with added sugars and pack a stunning visual punch. So pass on the soft drinks, and create your own homemade beverage recipes with good ol’ H20 as the ingredient du jour.
Step 1: Choose a Type of Water
All water isn’t the same (see our handy chart outlining the differences in bottled water). With different water sources and taste profiles, you’ll likely be surprised by the variety of options available. Varying mineral compositions and certainly the addition of carbonation can change your sensory experience with water quite drastically. When selecting a base for your homemade water beverage, try switching it up between sparkling water and still, mineral water and purified to see what combination is the best fit for you.
Step 2: Add a Squeeze of Citrus to Your Water
An easy, guilt-free way to add flavor to water is to squeeze in some fresh citrus. A quick squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit all add a big dose of flavor with negligible calories. One or two slices of a citrus fruit are enough to add flavor to an entire pitcher of water. Remove the peels of thicker skinned citrus like grapefruit to avoid a bitter taste.
Step 3: Fun with Fruits and Veggies
Create the simplest flavored water creations with the addition of fruit. Berries, stone fruits (like peaches and plums), and tropical fruits (like pineapple and mango) all add big flavor with just a touch of sweetness to your water. Hulling strawberries? Don’t throw those tops away! Add a handful to your favorite water and you’ll be amazed at the flavor impact. In the mood for something less fruit-forward? Sliced cucumbers invoke a fresh spa-like sensation when infused in water. Whatever your mood, drop your favorite additions into water and allow them to sit overnight to let the flavor permeate the water. Or, if time is working against you, simply crush the fruits a bit in the bottom of a pitcher or glass to release some juices. Then, just pour your water of choice and serve.
Step 4: Get Creative with Fresh Herbs or Spices
Adding fresh herbs brings added dimension to a homemade water infusion. Mint, basil, lavender and rosemary are all top choices that bring an aromatic twist to flavored water. Ginger can also add a ton of taste to water. Muddle (i.e. crush) fresh herbs to release their bold flavors and bring a big punch to your daily hydration. Bonus: herb infusions look beautiful served in a glass pitcher. Be sure to strain water before serving to eliminate any grainy or leafy textures.
Flavored Water Tips
Soak it Up
Letting your ingredients sit in water for at least an hour will increase your flavor factor. 2-4 hours will give you a lot of flavor, and even some color. Overnight will get you the most intense taste experience. For sparkling recipes, try using half of the recommended amount of water to soak ingredients and top off your drink right before you serve for a fresh fizz.
Strain to Serve
Pour your water through a strainer to catch any potentially straw-clogging herbs or unpleasant seeds.
Find a pitcher with a strainer spout, or even one with an insert to hold your ingredients for easy enjoyment.
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