Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY flavored water: a no-calorie summer delight


Treasured readers, don't you feel that sometimes that you need a breather, a break from the usual? The last month I took a little respite from some of my hobbies, just for a change, just to recharge my batteries...hence the lack of posts since May 24th!

Speaking of feeling refreshed, here are some ideas for calorie-free flavored water I concocted this last week. Each one of these is best enjoyed sipped from a tall glass on a warm summer day.

Elderberry Flower Mint Water

The elderberry flowers give this beverage a pleasant floral note, while the mint leaves a most refreshing taste in your mouth.

Start by washing your elderberry flowers and sprigs of mint lightly in some cold water. Combine these with some fresh, non-carbonated water in a bowl, jar, or pitcher. In the picture above I have about a liter/quart of water. Let sit a few hours or (preferably) overnight in the refrigerator for optimal flavor.

Since four types of mint grow in my garden, I like to experiment with different combinations since each variety has its own flavor. If elderberry flowers are out of season, try experimenting with adding rose petals or even rose water for an unusual taste combination.

Ginger Mint Water

This variation heats the tongue with the zing of freshly-pressed ginger root while simultaneously cooling it off with a blast of fresh mint. Wash the mint sprigs and combine with water. Cut of a slice of ginger root and crush it with the side of a knife or in a garlic press. Add to the water and stir. Let sit for at least a few hours so the water is imbued with the mint flavor.

Cucumber Water

Cucumber water has a surprisingly calming and cooling effect. For a beverage with a mild hint of cucumber, place a few slices in the water and let sit for at least an hour.

For a variation that delivers a strong punch of cucumber flavor, grate the cucumber and press out the juices. Add them to the water and stir thoroughly.

The possibilities for homemade flavored water are limited only by your imagination!