Why pay a premium for flavoured water in a shop when you can make your own? Here are some ideas on how to make refreshing flavoured water at home.
Flavoured Water As a Refreshing Summer Drink That Also Saves You Money
When I went to visit a number of co-working spaces in London I noticed that all the offices offered free flavoured water. Attractive glass decanters with fresh fruit in water were in every kitchen and members could simply help themselves to it throughout the day. I thought it was a great idea, because freshly made flavoured water is full of vitamins, making it the perfect drink to replenish lost liquid while also giving you a good energy boost.
Drinks companies jumped on the flavoured water bandwagon a while back. It is true that drinking plain water can be a bit boring. We all know that keeping hydrated is important, especially during the summer when we tend to sweat more. It’s very easy to reach out for a bottle of expensive branded water with flavourings, but we can swap convenience for saving money and making our own drinks.
Homemade flavoured water is perishable so, unlike the commercial variety, you need to drink it within a day.
Making Your Own Flavoured Water
Calculate how much water you drink in a day and fill up a large glass decanter. If you have children, you can make two different flavours to choose from and store them in the fridge.
The amount of ingredients you need is minimal. If you are using fresh fruit, you can reuse it when you finish the water to make a fruit salad or a grown up drink like sangria.
You can top up the flavoured water with extra plain water when it runs low but it will get quite diluted so add a few fresh ingredients to keep the flavour.
Lemon Infused Water
This is a classic flavoured water and you can either choose lemon or lime. Slice the citrus fruit after washing it and place the slices on the bottom of a decanter. Fill with water and keep in the fridge. You can crush the lemon slices with a wooden spoon to release extra juice. One lemon for 2 litres of water should be enough but you can always add more for a stronger flavour.
Mint Infused Water
Pick some fresh mint leaves and discard the stalks, wash them thoroughly and place at the bottom of a decanter. Slightly muddle the mint leaves with a spoon before adding the water to release their essential oil.
Cucumber Infused Water
Wash and slice one cucumber for 2 litres of water. Let infuse in the fridge for at least an hour before drinking.
You can also combine cucumber, mint and lemon to make a detoxifying flavoured water.
Watermelon Infused Water
Cut one slice of watermelon into cubes then add water. For extra flavour, add lemon or strawberries (or both).
Mock Sangria Infused Water
This is a great way to use up fresh fruit in an infused water drink first for the children and then as a grown up drink later.
Slice an apple, a peach, a lemon and an orange. Add some mint leaves if you like. Cover with water and keep in the fridge. When you finish the water, fill up the decanter with red wine and some brandy, and add some orange juice to make Spanish sangria.
Mock Pimm’s Infused Water
Slice a cucumber, a lemon, an orange and 6-8 strawberries. Add some fresh mint leaves and cover with water. For a grown-up version, after you drink the water add Pimm’s and lemonade.
Homemade Infused Flavoured Water
Making your own infused water can be slightly time-consuming but you are preparing it in bulk for the whole day. You can also filter it after infusing for at least an hour and pour it into your water bottle or a thermos to keep it cool and take it with you to work or to the gym.
You may have noticed that none of the recipes feature sugar: the main benefit of infused water is to hydrate and provide minerals and vitamins. Unfortunately, by adding sugar, you would reduce the health benefits of flavoured water. Sugar will also make you thirstier and cause a lack of energy, so if you can, avoid adding it to your drink.
Is your office making infused water available? If not, you can always suggest it to the office manager: it is very inexpensive and is visually appealing, making it inviting to drink.