Yes, you know that drinking water is essential to staying hydrated. But who can deny that a glass of water is, well, kinda drab. Before reaching for another glass of ho-hum H2O, up the flavor quota with these fast twists. Using ripe fruit at the peak of sweetness eliminates the need for sugar while creating delectable combos like raspberry-basil, pineapple-ginger, and apple-cinnamon.
Mix each combination below in a pitcher with six to eight cups of water. (Remember to rinse all of the ingredients before adding them to the pitcher.) You’ll also need a long wooden spoon to gently mash some of the ingredients. The finished refreshers can be served immediately, but for more flavor let them sit for a few hours (or longer) to infuse. Cheers!
Cherry-Limeade: Add 1 pint pitted cherries to a pitcher. Gently mash the cherries; stir in 2 sliced limes and water.
Raspberry-Basil: Add 1 pint raspberries along with 10 basil leaves to a pitcher. Mash the ingredients together and add water.
Berry-Vanilla: Mix together 1/2 cup each blueberries, blackberries, and chopped strawberries in a pitcher. Mash the berries and stir in the water. Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a small knife; add the seeds and pod to the pitcher. (Remove the pod before serving.) If you don’t have a vanilla bean, stir in a small drop of vanilla extract for a similar taste.
Pineapple-Ginger: Add 2 cups chopped pineapple, a thinly sliced 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, and water to a pitcher. (Remove the ginger prior to serving.)
Watermelon With Chile-Salt: Add 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon to a pitcher; crush the fruit and add water. To serve, mix equal parts chile powder and sea salt on a plate; wet the rim of a glass with water and turn the rim in the chile-salt combo. Add the watermelon water to the glass and serve.
Apple-Cinnamon: Add 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 chopped apples, and water to a pitcher. (Remove and discard cinnamon sticks before serving.)
Blueberry-Lavender: Add 1 pint blueberries to a pitcher, along with 2 teaspoons culinary lavender buds (find them online or at specialty grocery stores). Mash the berries and lavender and stir to combine.
Cucumber-Mint: Add 12 mint leaves to a pitcher and mash. Stir in 1 thinly sliced English cucumber and water.
Grapefruit-Peach With Rosemary: Add 2 chopped peaches to a pitcher and gently mash. Next, add 1 thinly sliced ruby red grapefruit, 1 small rosemary stalk, and water. (Remove rosemary before serving).