Sick of sipping plain old water all day long? Sorry to tell ya that just not drinking it isn't an option. Our bodies are made up of nearly 70 percent water, so it's safe to say, we need it. But if the sad water cooler at your office is bringing you down, you can always add some flavor to the life-essential beverage. We're talking about infused water recipes.
Think of it as meal-prep for your drink. If you've ever browsed Pinterest, you probably know a thing or two about infusing water. But if not, don't let the fancy-ish term turn you off. All you have to do is pick out your favorite fruits, veggies, and herbs; grab a glass pitcher or jar and water; and you'll be ready to enjoy those eight cups per day. Here are our tips on how to make your own infused water and our favorite three-ingredient infusions to get you started.
How to Make Your Own Infused Water
Infusing water isn't rocket science, but there are some ways you can perfect it to ensure you're not ruining your water drinking experience even more (no one likes soggy oranges in the bottom of their glass).
1. Avoid hot water.
You steep your tea bags in hot water, so it makes sense to think that warm water will quickly bring out the flavors of fruit and herbs too. Not quite. Infusing your fresh ingredients in warm water can cause the fruit and veg to break down faster and get soggy, leaving you with a goopy mess instead of a refreshing beverage. Infuse your fruits and veggies at room temperature or cold water for best results.
2. It's all in how you slice it.
The harder the ingredient, the longer it takes for its flavor to release into the water, so produce like apples should be sliced as thinly as possible. Softer fruits and veggies like berries can be sliced to any shape or size you prefer.
3. Get the most out of herbs.
Enhance the flavor of herbs like rosemary and thyme and roots like ginger and turmeric by muddling them with a spoon at the bottom of the glass or jar. For leafy herbs like mint and cilantro, tear the leaves from the stem, give them a good slap (so you'll look like those cool bartenders who claim it helps to bring out the flavor), and add to your water.
4. No sipping stickers.
This is a no-brainer, but even though you aren't eating the fruit or veg, make sure you remove the stickers so you don’t end up accidentally slurping one down.
5. The longer you soak, the stronger the flavor.
We bet you already knew this. After the ingredients have sat in the water for at least 20 minutes, you can taste the flavors. But if you want something stronger, soak for at least one to two hours. Depending on the ingredients, some infused water will do best if gulped right away. Here are some guidelines:
- Sliced cucumbers, citrus, berries, and melons tend to get waterlogged faster so drink these as soon as possible. If you leave the berries whole, they will last a bit longer.
- Apples and cinnamon could use a night in the fridge for maximum flavor.
- If you leave the peel on citrus fruits, they can make the water taste bitter after a few hours. If you’re prepping for a party, leave them in for two hours, then remove to prevent the bitter taste from forming, but add fresh ones for looks right before the guests arrive.
Ready to start infusing? Here are our favorite infused water recipes to add to your Pinterest board, and of course, to make when the plain stuff isn't cutting it anymore.
1. Berry Minty
There's something about mint in a drink that gives us some life. Maybe we're thinking about mojitos, but this fruity concoction will be the life of any party this summer.
4-6 mint sprigs
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blackberries
2. Apple Crisp
Who says infused water recipes are just for summer? Move over, PSL, this drink will give you all the crisp fall vibes.
1/4 red apple, chopped
1/4 green apple, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3. Citrus Colada
If you're the type that drinks lemon water in the mornings, think of this drink as taking your a.m. beverage on a tropical vacation.
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced
1/2 grapefruit, sliced and quartered
4. Coco Loco
We know what you're thinking: Coconut flakes in my water?! Yes, it's true, and you're going to love it. TBH, it tastes like a super-light piña colada so enough with the skepticism.
1/4 cup pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 lime, sliced
5. Summer Classic
Reminiscent of a relaxing day at the spa, this refreshing mix is as classic as it gets and doesn't need anything else to make it stand out. Sort of like a Swedish massage that's just as amazing without paying a fortune for hot stones.
1/4 cucumber, sliced
2 strawberries, sliced
1/2 lemon, cut into slices