Photo (cc) by go_nils
Until recently, I had only seen, much less drank, flavored water at high-end spas. Now it seems flavored water is quenching thirst both in and out of the spa. And it makes sense: It’s a great beverage for those who want something more exciting than plain coffee, tea, or water – but without extra calories, sugar, and artificial flavorings.
There are many flavored waters available. Here are some of my favorites, with prices for online ordering…
Flavors: Pear, Cucumber, Raspberry-Lime, Blackberry, Honeydew-Hibiscus, Mango-Grapefruit, Lime, Strawberry-Kiwi, Watermelon, and Pomegranate-Tangerine.
Cost: Case of 12 16-ounce bottles is $22, or $1.83 per bottle on the Hint website.
Flavors: Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemonmint, Orangemint, Chocolatemint, Cherrymint, and Goodberrymint.
Cost: Case of 24 16.9-ounce bottles is $38, or $1.58 per bottle (plus $10 shipping).
Flavors: Grape, Wild Berry, Raspberry, Strawberry-Kiwi, Lemon, and Peach Mango. Warning: Contains Splenda, also known as sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener that doesn’t agree with everyone.
Cost: Six 16.9-ounce bottles are $5.15 on Amazon. (Shipping not available; item is posted but not yet for sale. But you can sign up to be notified.)
Flavors: Lemon Lime, Mandarin Orange, Peach, Strawberry, and Wildberry
Cost: Twenty-four 20-ounce bottles are $23.99. (Shipping depends on where you live but can be as much as $30.)
Do it yourself
These are options, but why pay so much for something that can easily be made at home? Making your own flavored water is easy, delicious, refreshing, all-natural – and impressive when you have guests over.
The best technique to use is similar to that of making a mojito. You need to start with a fresh herb, some crushed ice, and a whisk or other utensil that can crush the two together.
½ cup of mint leaves
2 cups of crushed ice
8 cups cold, filtered water
Place the ice and mint in a pitcher and muddle together. (This process breaks down the mint leaves and releases their flavor.) Then add the water and let infuse in the fridge for at least an hour or ideally for four hours.
This basic method can be used for any flavoring you choose. Two of my favorites are lemon verbena and kaffir lime. A whole lemon verbena plant can be bought on Amazon for $3.99, and kaffir lime leaves can be bought at the Ethnic Foods Company for $4.99. It’s best to start off with a simple flavor and then get creative. Try some of the flavors above, or make your own.
If you decide to add fruit, I’d recommend cutting it into pieces and placing it in the pitcher. But don’t muddle it as it will make the water cloudy and not visibly appealing.
1 whole lemon (washed)
1 whole orange (washed)
1 whole lime (washed)
2 cups of crushed ice
8 cups cold water
Slice each piece of fruit into round wagon-wheels. Put slices in the pitcher with the ice and the water and stir. Let sit for at least four hours (longer is better) and serve with a couple of pieces of fruit in each glass.
For citrus mint water, simply mix the two recipes above.
Making flavored water at home will save you money, ensure there are no added ingredients in your beverage, and impress your guests, and it’s better for the environment because there are no wasteful plastic bottles to ship all over the country.
Give it a try and enjoy creating something simple and special.