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Quench Your Thirst Beautifully With Flavor-Infused Water

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Dining & Entertainment, Featured

Published on May 17, 2020 with No Comments

What fruits should I put in my water?

Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge. Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus, and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.

Drink up!

You’ll have no problem staying hydrated when your water looks and tastes like a summertime treat. Here’s what to know when you fancy up your H2O with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more.

The Super Soak

Infusing water with the essence of fruits, herbs, and other botanicals helps you drink plenty of liquids without the downside of excess calories, sugars, and artificial flavorings. It’s beneficial hydration in every refreshing sip.

But before you get started, there are a few essentials you should know to make sure that drink of infused water is as good — and good for you — as it can be. 

Best Practices

Ingredients
Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove chemicals, pesticides, and other residues.

Water
Use cold or room temperature filtered water. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out of the ingredients.

Vessels
Glass, plain and simple. You can splash out for purpose-built infusing pitchers and bottles, but you don’t have to. Spend on fresh produce instead.

Prep Tips

  • Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.
  • Crush fibrous ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon; tear or crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.
  • Loose herbs and flowers — lavender, rose petals, dried hibiscus — can be corralled in a tea infuser or cheesecloth.

Soak Time and Temperature

  • Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.
  • Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus, and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.
  • After 4 hours, citrus rinds can make water taste bitter. To make a big jug of infused water for a party, peel the citrus before soaking. Or you can soak it unpeeled for 4 hours, remove it, and add fresh slices for looks. (And keep that water icy cold for food safety.)
  • If you don’t drink the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • To keep sipping all day long, refill your infused water container when it’s half full. It will be weaker than your first drink, but still flavorful.

Keep it simple. Think of flavor combos you like in other recipes and build from there. Watch the video to see how to make flavor-infused water:

For more recipes, visit www.allrecipes.com.

“Tired of plain old boring water? Here’s a cool and fruity twist on it! Mix up your fruits for a tasty surprise! Citrus fruit and berries work best. If you want more flavor, add more fruits, and if you want less flavor, use less fruit. You can squeeze the juice out to color the water or just put whole slices and berries in.”

The Perfect Lemonade

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

For more intense lemon flavor, grate the zest from one fresh lemon and add the zest to the simple syrup as you are making it. Once the sugar has dissolved in the water remove from heat and let the zest seep in the simple syrup for several minutes, then strain out the zest when you add the simple syrup to the lemon juice.

Ingredients

1 cup white, granulated sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)

1 cup water (for the simple syrup)

1 cup lemon juice

2 to 3 cups cold water (to dilute)

Method

1 Make “simple syrup”:  Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir so that the sugar dissolves completely and remove from heat.

2 Juice the lemons: While the water is heating for the simple syrup, juice your lemons. Depending on the size of the lemons, 4 to 6 of them should be enough for one cup of juice.

3 Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, water: Pour the juice and the simple syrup sugar water into a serving pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of cold water and taste. Add more water if you would like it to be more diluted (though note that when you add ice, it will melt and naturally dilute the lemonade).

If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

4 Chill: Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

 

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