Stay Cool with Water Infusions

posted in: Simple Food | 6

Inside: It’s a challenge to keep hydrated in the hot summer months. Stay cool with water infusions. Our DIY adventure will show you how.

Stay Cool with Water Infusions.
From left: quart with orange, mint, and blackberries; pitcher with grapefruit and rosemary; and quart with cucumbers, lemon, lime, and strawberries. Photo courtesy of Ann Harke.

The Attempt

For a while now I’ve been wanting to try some water infusion recipes, and when Mom showed up to help with the stump garden a few weeks ago, she happened to have a fruit-infused water in her hand which contained lemon grass, cukes, and some type of citrus. “Try this,” she said. “It’s refreshing.”

And it was. Right there on the spot, the wheels in my mind started turning, and I knew I’d be doing a post on water infusions sometime this summer.

Enter sometime. So Mom and I embarked on a mini DIY adventure making water infusions this past week. I found some intriguing recipes on Pinterest, pinned them to my board Good Things, and we dived right in. (Notice the clever water theme.)

Mom brought over some sage, lavender, cilantro, mint, and one jar of a water infusion she’d already made. I had the fruit and the rest of the jars, and we got busy slicing.

Here is what we tried:

Quart one – slices of cucumber, lemon, lime, and strawberries (pictured top right).

Quart two – slices of orange, whole blackberries, and a sprig of mint (top left).

Pitcher – grapefruit slices and two sprigs of rosemary (top middle).

Pint one – whole blueberries and three small sprigs of lavender (below left).

Pint two – peach slices and sprig of sage (below middle).

Pint three – orange slices and small sprig of cilantro (below right).

DIY water infusions.
From left: pint with lavender and blueberries, pint with peach slices and sage, and pint with orange slices and cilantro. Photo courtesy of Ann Harke.

 

The Execution

(Meaning performance of, not killing, although some fruit was hurt in the making of this blog post.)

We added water, fruit, and herbs to the jars. Then we did the photo shoot.

Then I read the directions. After washing the ingredients, which I did, we were supposed to “muddle” the ingredients to release the juices and flavors and then pour the water over top and stir or shake. I wasn’t familiar with muddle (muddling?) except when Judy Garland belted out the word in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Upon looking up the term, I discovered it meant “to mix or stir.” Having tried my own water fusion a few weeks prior by simply slicing lemons in a jar, I figured maybe the muddling part was overrated. The next step? Wait 24 hours while the fruit and herbs released their flavors.

The Results

The following day I was eager to try my fruit-infused waters, and Hubs was willing to be a taster. So we swigged, sipped, and gulped our way to these impressions.

First up, the pint with four peach slices with one sprig of sage. Probably our favorite, although the peach flavor was too subtle. I did try squeezing the fruit, but it didn’t change the flavor much. We both felt the sage worked well, and I could see how a sprig of sage added to a pitcher of peach tea would be tasty. The sage added a refreshing hint, yet it didn’t overpower the water.

The next pint we tried was the one with a handful of blueberries and three small sprigs of lavender. We ranked this one third overall. Again, the fruit was too subtle, but the lavender was perfect. We felt this infusion had potential if the blueberry flavor was stronger. The only drawback was some of the lavender fell apart, and the tiny pieces were irritating.

The third pint contained two orange slices and a tiny sprig of cilantro. I tried it solo because Hubs is a cilantro hater. (Yeah, one of those people.) My feeling was that both the orange and cilantro were too subtle, but I think more orange slices and a large sprig of cilantro would have me loving this. As with the sage, the cilantro added a refreshing quality I could appreciate on a hot day.

Moving over to the quarts, the one with a big handful of blackberries, three slices of orange, and two sprigs of mint came in second. Both of us felt the three flavors mixed well together, and, not to sound like a broken record, the mint added that refreshing quality. Admittedly, we tried this at 48 hours, and the flavors were stronger, though I also ended up mashing the fruit and shaking the jar, which didn’t make for a pretty presentation.

The other quart went home with Mom, and so I asked her to tell me her impressions. This one had six thin slices of cucumber, four thin slices of lemon, three thin slices of lime, and a small handful of strawberry slices. She had this to say, “It’s slightly tart but very refreshing. Really quenches your thirst. A good re-hydrator.”

The pitcher had me intrigued. I made this one the biggest because I anticipated liking it the most. This had one whole sliced grapefruit (peeled because we were trying to avoid that bitter taste) plus two big sprigs of rosemary. Turns out I didn’t like it at all. While I’m fond of grapefruit, I only tasted the bitter aspect of it (even without the peel), and the rosemary, which I also like, was much too strong.

Overall, I would try making most of these again–except for the grapefruit-rosemary concoction–but next time I’d gently squeeze the fruit first, add a small sprig of whichever herb the recipe called for, and shake it up before drinking it. I can also see how adding a small sprig of sage or mint to fruit-flavored iced tea would be good. I plan on giving this a try.

Stay tuned for more DIY projects in August.

Have a favorite recipe for a fruit-infused water? Share it with us in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post, could you do me a favor? Please pass it on to a friend or share it on social media. And be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a post!

Related posts: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Up Strawberries

4-Ingredient Simple Pizza

From my Kitchen to Yours

 

 

 

 

6 Responses

  1. We’ve tried this, too. I guess I was a little disappointed that the flavor wasn’t more compelling. Compelling enough to make me do it again. I decided to just stick with sun tea unless I wanted something really, really cold and thirst quenching for the evening. Then I take my kids’ snow cone machine (yes, I actually went and bought me a new one), shave the ice, and pour a lime pilsner from the local microbrewery over it. It’s quite good! 😀

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      I have to admit, I had higher hopes for these. Still, I think I’ll try again until I find one I really, really love. The very first one I tried, though, was really good. So I’m trying to recreate that! 🙂

  2. I loved this article, especially the subtle humor. I’d never thought of making these, but they sound delicious. I’ll have to try making them with my grandchildern–I’m sure they’ll come up with some interesting concoctions. 🙂

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Thanks, Debra. 🙂 I think you’ve hit upon the right idea–experimenting to try different ingredients together. And I’ll just about bet your grandkids will come up with some great ideas. Leave it to kids! 🙂

  3. Patsy Reiter

    Amy, loved the water infusion recipes. Not only do they look healthy, but they’re so attractive! I haven’t made any homemade concoctions for myself as I do it the lazy way and purchase lemon flavored water. These recipes would make a nice pep-me-up gift for shut-ins or anyone who is recovery from an illness or surgery. And they’re the perfect summer afternoon hydration drink. Thanks! Patsy

    • amy@amyharkemoore.com

      Thanks, Patsy. 🙂 They are attractive, aren’t they? Almost too pretty to drink! What a great idea to brighten someone’s day by bringing around something cool to drink to someone who is homebound! And a good way to covertly check on someone in the heat without it seeming like you’re checking up on them.