Do you know what the best birthday parties, high-end spas and waiting rooms have in common?
Flavour-infused water jars.
If your summer resolution is to drink more water but you can’t stand the taste of the bland stuff, I’m here to help. It’s time to leave vitamin waters, fruit juices and sports drinks on the supermarket shelves and get back to good old fashioned wholesome water with a twist.
Infused-water jars are super easy, inexpensive and will keep you, your friends and your family refreshed and mellow, rather than dehydrated and on a sugar high. You’ll be sipping on water all summer long in no time!
Why not take advantage of your favourite warm weather fruits and herbs to enliven your daily water intake and keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated!
Why the jars, you may ask?
Well, we all know mason-filled jars are just begging for an instagram story. Mason jars are fantastic for entertaining and are a great addition to any table or sideboard.
To begin with, you’ll need a screw-top glass jar and, if you’re going the whole hog, a stripy paper straw. When you’re gathering ingredients, make sure to avoid overripe or heavily bruised fruit and vegetables – leave those for baking and freezing instead.
Now that you’re mentally prepared, follow the four steps down below to create delicious infused water drinks and learn just how to mix and match to suit your personal preferences.
The first tip to fruit-infused water is the fruit (super simple I know!). Remember to give your ingredients a loving rinse beforehand. While we all know that lemon goes great in water because of its ability to help us detoxify, we somehow forget to bring other fruits, vegetables and herbs into the equation. You can also include peeled and sliced lime, grapefruit, orange, mandarin, all types of berries, mango and other tropical fruits, kiwi fruit, pomegranate or your other favourite fruits, such as apple, grapes, peach, nectarine or pear. The world is really your oyster or, in this case, your mason jar.
A couple of tips to remember; removing the peel from citrus reduces bitterness, while using thin slices enables a faster infusion.
Next up, it’s time to tumble some vegetables into your jar. Once you’ve chosen your pick of the lot, push them down with a wooden spoon to release all of their flavours. My personal favourites are sliced or halved cucumber and fennel, and sliced carrots or celery stalks.
If you’re keen to get fancier, be sure to add some herbs! From my own personal experience, I’ve found that rosemary, basil, mint, thyme, sage and coriander (cilantro) work well. Take the herbs in your hand and squeeze them gently to bruise them, releasing their natural aroma and oils.
Feel free to add whole spices to the mix, such as cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, nutmeg, a vanilla bean, cloves and fresh ginger slices. To score some extra brownie points, edible blossoms, such as rose, lavender, citrus flowers, hibiscus, pansies and violets are a beautiful and fragrant addition to your water-jar. Just make sure they’re food-grade and pesticide-free.
The combinations are limitless but some of my favourite flavour combinations are;
- Blueberry + lemon + mint
- Orange + cardamom + cinnamon + clove + allspice
- Strawberry + basil + vanilla
- Lemon + strawberry + basil
- Grapefruit + rosemary
- Pear + fennel
- Lemon + basil
- Strawberry + lime + basil
- Raspberry + thyme + rose petals
- Lemon + lime + orange + mint
- Lemon + ginger
- Pineapple + cucumber + mint
- Mandarin + pear + mint or coriander (cilantro)
- Lemon + orange + ginger
- Blood orange + basil + ginger
- Lime + cucumber + mint
- Grapefruit + cucumber + sage
- Watermelon + cucumber + mint
- Apple + lemon + carrot + ginger
- Pomegranate + carrot + sage
- Watermelon + basil
- Banana + blueberry + basil
- Blackberry + raspberry + strawberry + mint
- Strawberry + grapefruit + sage
- Apple + blueberry + mint
Try these at home and let me know your favourites. Finally, it’s time to pour in filtered water, coconut water or sparkling mineral water on top. Once you do, you can let it sit for a few hours until infused. Just remember that some flavours take longer to infuse than others. As a general rule of thumb, citrus is fairly quick, but some herbs need longer, and berries can colour the water.
If you’re making the jars in preparation for an event, make your jars the day before and leave them in the fridge to infuse further overnight.
Below are two water-infused recipes from my recipe book Supercharge Your Life for you to try out at your next event or DIY spa day. Drink up and enjoy!
Lemon, strawberry and basil water jar
- 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) strawberries, hulled and halved
- squeeze of lemon juice
- handful basil leaves
- filtered water or sparkling mineral water
Place the strawberries in a jar and add the lemon juice.
Scrunch the basil leaves in your hands to release their oils and flavour, and gently mix in with a wooden spoon.
Fill the jar with water, then seal and leave to infuse.
Apple, raspberry and rosemary water jar
- 1 apple, sliced
- handful raspberries
- several rosemary sprigs
- filtered water or sparkling mineral water
Place the apple and raspberries in the jar.
Bruise the rosemary in your hands and gently mix into the fruit with a wooden spoon.
Fill the jar with water, then seal and leave to infuse overnight.
Drink the following day.
Lee Holmes - Naturopath/Author.
Founder of Love your Gut