Taking plain water to the next level
It seems water infusions are all the rage lately and with good reason: they look spectacular, taste fun and propose a great way to up you daily water intake.
Infused water offers great Value at a negligible cost. Perfect to delude yourself that you are drinking something of interest, it makes a great alternative to alcoholic drinks and a superb one to all artificial soft ones (assuming people still drink that stuff). As a bonus, it has almost zero calories and, allegedly, you’re receiving natural occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants via drinking it (leaking out of the fruit directly into the water). Its visual wow factor is insane and it is guaranteed to impress any guest.
And you cannot get any more instagrammable than with IW.
WHAT EXACTLY IS INFUSED WATER?
Any combination of fruit, vegetables, and herbs immersed in water.
There are several infusion-specific sites and blogs around that go in-depth regarding methods and practices – google “infused water recipes” and you will find plenty of info. There are definitely some things to keep in mind when preparing water infusions and, no doubt, one can reach extremely sophisticated levels of taste if dedicating the appropriate amount of time to experimentation. That said, I will dispense with the platitudes and the faux-expert trivia. There is no major science behind infused water. It is not even a recipe really: just add whatever comes to mind to clean water.
Use your taste and imagination, experiment and enjoy.
HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?
Select a combination of ingredients, put in a glass container together with (ideally distilled) water, let rest for 1-2 hours, refrigerate and consume.
Your ingredients pool:
- Herbs & Spices
For extra swag, you can include edible flowers.
Soft fruit can be sliced any way you prefer. Slice harder fruits thinly because they take longer to infuse.
If you use citrus fruits and do not plan to consume the water immediately, peel their skin off to avoid the bitter taste (note: they photograph better with their skin on!).
TO GET YOU GOING, here are some suggestions that work:
- Strawberry & cilantro / basil / mint
- Apple & cinnamon
- Mango & Ginger
- Lemon & thyme / mint
- Orange & cardamon & clove
- Lime & ginger & basil
- Pineapple & pepper & mint / cilantro / basil
- Cucumber & lemon & strawberry & basil
You can experiment à volonté. Some combinations will work better than others but you can have fun exploring this in the making.
A NOTE on herbs:
I keep reading you must slightly baste herbs before adding them to the water, in order to release their oils and infuse better. I do not recommend this at all. My first attempt at IW involved coriander, which I basted ever so slightly; it infused within seconds producing a very dominant taste that sabotaged the strawberry’s more subtle one.
OTHER THINGS to keep in mind:
- It is recommended to use distilled or filtered water. I happen to have access to distilled water at the moment but would have no problem venturing a tap water infusion (assuming I am in a location where tap water is potable).
- Use a glass container for your infusion. A simple, clear one for that matter, to best enjoy the stunning look of the infusion.
- Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours, then put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
- It is best that you consume infused water within 24 hours. After that things start to look and taste a little dodgy.
- You can refill the water once or twice and let it infuse again (expect the flavour to be less pronounced).
And that is it. Go and experiment and let me know of the results!