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.

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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 making infused water, there are a few essentials you should know to make sure that fruit or herb infused water is as good - and good for you - as it can be.

Infused Water in Jars
Photo by Vanessa Greaves

How to Make Infused Water: 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

It's okay to keep it simple; any glass or pitcher you already have will work. If you want to take infused water with you, you might like this purpose-built infusion water bottle so you can sip on the go.

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, soak citrus for up to 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.

Infused Water Flavor Combinations

Infused-Water3 Infographic
Infused-Water3 Infographic

Try These Recipes for Infused Water

Fruit-Flavored Water
Credit: KGora

More Ideas for Infused Water

  • Cucumber + lime + strawberry + mint
  • Lemon + raspberry + rosemary
  • Orange + blueberry + basil
  • Lime + ginger root + basil
  • Watermelon + honeydew + mint
  • Cucumber + mint + jalapeno
  • Lemon + thyme
  • Orange + hibiscus + star anise
  • Orange + cinnamon + cardamom + cloves
  • Pear + fennel

Stay hydrated, my friends.

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