Firstly, if you’re wanting to join in with the water infusion craze – good for you! With the benefits of hydrating your body and pumping healthy nutrients into your system, infusing your water is a great health kick. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot either because all you need are good, healthy ingredients and water out of the tap.
You can get special water bottles which are handy for carrying around with you but these aren’t necessary for creating your own infused water concoctions. Instead, you’ll just need some fruit, veg and herbs (buy organic if possible) that have been washed to remove any pesticides, chemicals and other residues. The water you use should be filtered, if possible, and should be room temperature or cold – hot water may affect how effectively the nutrients are absorbed from the fruits.
Preparing Your Infused Water Drink
The amount of prep involved in making your drink will depend on the fruits you are using but here are some tips for the types of things you may be using:
Soft Fruits: Things like strawberries and citrus fruits can be chopped quite roughly into quarters, halves or thin slices.
Hard Fruits: Because it’ll take longer for the flavors to be released from these fruits, you should chop these as thinly as possible. Apples, pears etc.
Lemongrass, Rosemary and Ginger Roots: To unleash the flavors in these you’ll need to crush the fibers in them – use a wooden spoon or pestle and mortar to do this.
Leafy Herbs: For herbs like cilantro, basil and mint, you’ll need to crush or tear the leaves to release the natural oils.
Flowers and Loose Herbs: Dried hibiscus, rose petals and lavender can all be used in these types of drinks and will just require a cheesecloth or tea infuser for them to be corralled.
Making Your Infused Water Drink
Once you’ve got all your ingredients together, you’ll need to start putting together your exciting flavors. Again, the amount of time it takes for the drink to take shape will depend on the ingredients you’re putting in it. However, regardless of how long the ingredients take to infuse, you shouldn’t leave the mixture out of the fridge for longer than 2 hours, otherwise bacteria might start to grow in it.
Some ingredients will flavor your water straight away, and these include mint, melons, citrus fruits and cucumbers. Other ingredients like rosemary, fresh ginger root, cinnamon and apples will take quite a bit longer to flavor your water, so it’s a good idea to leave these in the fridge overnight ready for the next day.
After a few hours, some fruits can start to look waterlogged, e.g. slice strawberries and melons whilst whole berries and citrus fruits will look appetizing for hours on end. However, unpeeled citrus can start to give the water a bitter taste after 4 hours, so it’s a good idea to peel the citrus before you place it in the water to avoid this. Alternatively, if you’re making the drink for a party, you could soak some unpeeled citrus in the water for four hours before taking it out and serving it with fresh slices to make it look good!
If you haven’t managed to get through your drink within 24 hours, it will last for another three days in the fridge, so long as you take all of the solids out. But, if you’re going to sip away on your drink all day, refill your glass with the infused water when it gets halfway down. It might weaken the flavor slightly but it will still be very enjoyable!
Infused Water Inspiration
You don’t need to look far to get inspiration for your water infused drinks. There are so many exciting infused water recipes that have different benefits, so you’ll probably want to experiment with all of these over time. Equally, you can look around at your favorite recipes to see what combinations work before you try them in your drink.
Some classic combos include mint, strawberry, lime and cucumber; rosemary, raspberry and lemon; basil, blueberry and orange; basil, ginger root and lime; mint, honeydew and watermelon; jalapeno, mint and cucumber; lemon and thyme; star anise, hibiscus and orange; fennel and pear…the list goes on. All you need to do is be brave with your choices and bold with your flavors and you’ll soon be putting together juicy drinks that taste delicious! Why not get the kids involved too so they start to enjoy drinking water more?
Abby Lambert works as a nurse and tries to keep herself as fit and healthy as possible using natural methods. Smoothies, infused water and various teas are her go-to beverages at work. She writes articles in her free time focusing on health matters.