12 Ways to Make Water Taste (Much) Better
Last Updated: Aug 21, 2014
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You know you need to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. But sometimes it tastes so... boring. Are there easy ways to keep it interesting without adding sugar and calories? Yes! We spoke with a number of experts about their favorite infused water recipes. These refreshing spa water ideas will keep you from reaching for a sugary, calorie-laden fruit drink or soda. The flavor of spa water is sweetly subtle, and it offers an appealing way to liven up your daily water intake and stay hydrated. Read on to learn about these 12 spa water recipes to see which ones you’d like to try -- hot-stone massage and fluffy spa robe optional.
AN INTRODUCTION TO INFUSING WATER
Tastes and preferences are personal, which is why you’ll see such variation in ingredient amounts and infusion times in the following recipes. Experimentation is encouraged. One rule, however, is always to wash fresh produce before use. You should also keep your infused water refrigerated to prevent spoilage. Also, you can choose to remove the rinds of citrus fruits, but leaving the rinds on will actually deliver more citrus flavor to the water. But if rinds are left too long, the taste can become bitter. What constitutes “too long” is subjective and a matter of taste.
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“Cucumber is a spa water staple,” said Ashton Keefe, owner of Ashton Keefe Culinary Lifestyle Services in New York. People oftentimes overlook leafy and delicious herbs like tarragon, he says, yet the two are an ideal combination for a truly luxurious spa water. “Tarragon and cucumber have a savory and elegant feel to them,” Keefe explains. To make Keefe’s tarragon-cucumber water, thinly slice half a cucumber. Place one bunch of fresh tarragon in a large container and gently bruise it with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to release its flavor. Add the cucumber slices. Pour in three liters of filtered water and chill in the refrigerator before serving. Tarragon has some of the highest levels of antioxidants among herbs, Keefe adds, making this spa water refreshing, delicious and healthy.
Tarragon-Cucumber Water Printable Recipe
Watermelon and cucumber are both light, refreshing flavors, making them perfect for spa water. “Watermelon will leave the water tasting sweet, with a pinkish hue and plenty of antioxidants,” says Lori Kenyon Farley, cofounder of Ritual Wellness in Irvine, California. “This refreshing drink will leave you feeling rested and glowing.” Watermelon juice has been found to help with muscle recovery after exercise, and cucumbers are a good source of vitamin K and help to reduce inflammation. To make, fill a pitcher with two liters of water. Add one cup of peeled and cubed seeded watermelon, one sliced large cucumber, and one sliced lime. Let the mixture sit overnight. Then discard the watermelon chunks, but leave the other fruit (although you might want to remove the lime if you’ll not be drinking it immediately to avoid bitterness). Serve water with a slice of fresh lime.
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GRAPEFRUIT-BASIL SPA WATER
“Sweet basil pairs beautifully with the less-acidic grapefruit for a milder flavor and citrus essence,” explains Cheryl Najafi, lifestyle and entertaining expert at Cherylstyle.com and the author of “Mother Daughter Dishes.” To make grapefruit-basil spa water, use a spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to bruise four sprigs of fresh basil. Place the basil in a pitcher, add one gallon of water and let the mixture steep for about two hours. Next, cut one grapefruit into thick circular slices and discard the end pieces to prevent bitterness. Add the grapefruit slices and some ice to the pitcher, and chill for another two hours before serving.
For spa guests of the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California, spa supervisor Janette Logan created The Del-icious spa water. “The locally harvested mint from our herb garden is used to increase blood flow and relieve inflammation,” Logan says. “Strawberries are used for their high vitamin content and pleasing taste, while cucumbers have a natural cooling property.” To prepare, slice one cucumber, slice one apple and quarter 10 strawberries. Place fresh mint in a container and muddle it slightly with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to release its flavor. Add the ingredients to 64 ounces of water. Refrigerate for one hour and then serve over ice.
The Del-icious Spa Water Printable Recipe
LEMON-ROSEMARY SPA WATER
“The lemon in the lemon-rosemary spa water draws out and enhances the flavor of the fragrant rosemary,” says Najafi. To make lemon-rosemary spa water, use a spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to bruise three sprigs of rosemary. Place the rosemary at the bottom of a pitcher and add one gallon of water; let steep for about two hours. Cut two lemons into thick circular slices and discard the end pieces. Add the lemon slices and some ice to the pitcher and chill for two more hours before serving. Add ice as needed.
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SWEET PEPPERS SPA WATER
Najafi chose sweet peppers to flavor this water because they offer “a refreshing and unexpected taste.” Not only do sweet peppers infuse the drink with an invigorating flavor, they are also filled with water-soluble vitamin C. One of this vitamin’s many benefits is its capacity to act as an antioxidant, helping to protect your body’s cells from damaging free radicals. To make the spa water, wash, halve and remove the seeds from two cups of sweet peppers (green, red and yellow). Place the peppers at the bottom of a pitcher. Add one gallon of water and some ice. Chill for four hours before serving.
Sweet Peppers Spa Water Printable Recipe
Although you can certainly use tap water for these recipes, Keefe prefers to use filtered water for her spa waters. She feels that “filtered or bottled water allows for the cleanest flavors of the additions” -- like those in her pineapple-lemon water. “Pineapple and lemon provide a sweet and acidic taste that’s refreshing and tastes a hundred times better than water alone,” says Keefe. Both fruits are also loaded with antioxidant vitamin C. To make, combine three liters of filtered water, one cup of cubed pineapple and one thinly sliced lemon in a pitcher. Chill the drink in the refrigerator before serving.
MELON-INFUSED SPA WATER
“Melons are an excellent source of vitamin C,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Vandana Sheth. Vitamin C is more than just an antioxidant. It also helps your immune system work properly to protect your body from disease, and it improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. To mix up a batch of Sheth’s melon-infused spa water, place a quarter cup of cubed honeydew melon, a quarter cup of cubed cantaloupe and a quarter cup of cubed watermelon in a large pitcher of water -- about two to three liters. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then serve with ice.
This strawberry-kiwi water recipe from Farley is a satisfying substitute for sweeter beverages. “The unique tangy flavor of the kiwi is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet taste of strawberries, creating a delicious juice that makes you think of vacation and relaxation,” she says. The strawberry-kiwi water is especially beautiful, with its red and green fruit slices, and it also provides a good dose of vitamin C. To prepare, slice one quart of strawberries and peel and slice six kiwis. Place the strawberries, kiwis and a few sprigs of fresh mint in a pitcher and fill it with about two to three liters of water. Chill the water for at least two hours so the fruit can infuse into it. Serve over ice with a sprig of fresh mint.
BERRY BONANZA SPA WATER
In addition to its delicious taste, “all the berries in this recipe are known to have antioxidant benefits as well as vitamins,” Sheth says. In addition to vitamin C, the berries also contain ellagitannins, a natural, water-soluble organic compound that’s been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer. To make Sheth’s berry bonanza spa water, wash and dry a quarter cup of raspberries, a quarter cup of blueberries and a quarter cup of strawberries. Cut the berries into large, coarse pieces. Add the berries to a pitcher of water and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.
Berry Bonanza Spa Water Printable Recipe
CUCUMBER-MINT SPA WATER
The cucumber-and-mint-infused spa water from Sheth offers the classic flavors served at spas, along with some health benefits. Mint contains rosmarinic acid, a substance with antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions, and cucumbers are a good source of vitamins C and K. To make cucumber-mint spa water, wash, dry and thinly slice one cucumber. Make sure to keep the skin on as most of the beneficial nutrients are in this part of the vegetable. Wash and dry one sprig of fresh mint leaves, then bruise them slightly with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cucumber and mint to a pitcher of about two liters of water. Chill the water in the refrigerator for one to two hours to allow the flavors to meld.
CITRUS BLEND SPA WATER
The oranges, lemons and limes in the citrus blend spa water recipe create a delicious blend of sweet and tart. The citrus fruits also offer health benefits. “All the fruits in this spa water are known to be good sources of vitamin C,” says Sheth. While you won’t get the full advantages of the fruits you use to infuse your water, you’re still getting some of the nutrients. To make this citrus-blend spa water, wash and dry one orange, one lemon and one lime. Cut each fruit into thin slices and discard the end pieces. Add the slices to three liters of water and allow the mixture to steep in the refrigerator for one to two hours before serving.
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What do you think of these spa water ideas? Do you plan on trying any of the recipes here? Do you have your own version of spa water at home? What are some of your favorite flavor combinations? Share your thoughts and ideas below!
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