Am I the only person who finds water a little boring? I blame my addiction to diet soda, which I gave up last Friday but still crave more than I care to admit. The whole point of going pop free is to put the kibosh on cola-chemicals and replace them with glorious, pure H20. So how do I get myself to guzzle the wa-wa while I’m still craving that weird nondescript cola flavor!?
Leisureguy had an excellent suggestion: flavored water! I love this idea, and apparently I’m not the only one. I scoured the internet and found tons of ideas for naturally enhancing the flavor of water with fruit and herbs.
A couple of general tips before I get into the monster list:
- Sparkling water can be used instead of still water for that bubbly goodness
- Fruit infusions are best if they’ve been allowed to steep for at least four hours
- Freeze any of the following into ice cubes
- Use a French Press to filter herbs, spices and other bits you don’t want to drink
Now let’s get on to the monster list. Got any other ideas? Add them to the comments.
32 Natural Ways to Flavor Water
- Citrus fruit – Lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit. Flavor is just a squeeze away!
- Tea – A tea bag works just as well in cold water as it does in hot water. Just steep it for longer. (Thanks, Leisureguy!)
- Ginger – Steep slices of ginger in hot water. Pour over ice.
- Sliced cucumber – ’nuff said
- Mint – Break apart the leaves to release the flavor. Also good with vodka and lime. =)
- Unsweetened fruit juice – Leisureguy suggests cranberry or pomegranate juice. Just add a splash or two to a glass of water. Zing!
- Fresh pomegranate seeds – Here are step-by-step instructions that explain How to Cut and De-Seed a Pomegranate.
- Wine – I must say I love this idea from Wisebread. The recommend plum wine or umeshu: “It is a very sweet Japanese liquere made from green plums so I drink it with a lot of water. The distinct sweet flavor still comes through when there is one part umeshu in ten parts water. I am sure the same can be done with other syrupy liqueres.”
- Sangria water – Mix the following and let steep for four hours: 1 quart filtered water; 4 slices each of lemon, orange and lime; 1 ripe peach, cut into quarters; 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- Fresh stevia leaves – Stevia is a naturally sweet non-caloric leaf that is usually sold in packets, but it also makes a nice houseplant. Read more about growing Stevia.
- Mixed fruit – Orange, lemon, lime, strawberrys, and cucumber go well together
- Lemongrass – Let a sprig of lemongrass steep sit in a glass of water for a few hours.
- Parsley – Break apart the leaves to release the flavor.
- Sliced cucumber and lemons
- Ginger and lemon
- Strawberries and mint
- Citrus fruit ice cubes – The sweet and sour kalamansi orange can be frozen whole and used as ice cubes. You could do the same thing with mandarins, clementines or satsumas.
- Salt – An interesting tip from Wisebread: “I am sure you have heard of the term “electrolytes” in the marketing for energy drinks. Actually electrolytes are just ions that can be found in common table salt. Adding a little bit of salt to water helps your body absorb the liquid more quickly. As long as you don’t go overboard with the salt the water should be very quenching and it would be great for workouts since the body loses salt through sweat.”
- Vinegar – Again, from Wisebread: “Adding vinegar to water is similar to adding citrus. You will get sour water that has vitamin C. When I was a kid I liked adding apple vinegar to water and then drinking it.”
- Hibiscus (Red Zinger) tea. I used to drink buckets of stuff at The Spider House Cafe in Austin, Texas. It’s easy to make, just put four bags in a pitcher for a few hours.
- Cubed honeydew melon with cucumber
- Lavender buds – Put them in a small muslin bag and let it steep for a while.
- Angostura bitters – This stuff is often used in martinis and other boozy drinks, but it’s also good in ice water. Just add a few dashes. If you’re feeling more adventurous, check out the Angostura website for more recipes.
- Spiced Ginger and Citrus Infusion – Steep the following over hot water for 5 minutes, then drink it hot or on ice: 1/2 in of peeled ginger, a couple of cloves, a small piece of cinnamon stick, and a couple of slices of citrus fruit. You can add honey if you like as well.
- Watermelon juice – Thanks again to Leisureguy for the idea!
- Herb Infused Water made with cucumber, lemon, mint and rosemary.
- Sun Tea – This is an old favorite of mine that my fam used to make with Lipton tea bags and sliced lemons served over lots of ice. Here is a basic recipe for Sun Tea. You can make it more interesting by adding mint, fresh fruit, lemons, whatever you fancy. It’s SO refreshing on a hot summer day.