Homemade Vitamin Water

Homemade vitamin water

I’m a pretty lazy water drinker. It’s terrible to admit, especially when I spend so much time outside and need the hydration. But sometimes water is just boring, and some fancy flavored thing in a bottle seems so much nicer on a hot summer day.

But since we were swigging beers all day yesterday (anyone else have a little too much fun on July 4?), it’s a fine day to get those vitamins back in our bodies so we can keep swigging more beers this weekend. Here’s how.

Not-so-fun fact: Did you know that Vitamin Water — the bottled stuff in the store that claims to be full of life-giving vitamins and minerals — actually isn’t? It shouldn’t be any surprise since Coca-Cola owns the brand, and considering the second ingredient on its label — crystalline fructose — is just a euphemism for corn syrup. So, what you’re really getting is a bottle of sugar water fortified with dubious vitamin supplements.

But just as easily as you can run down to the store for a case of Vitamin Water, you can make your own vitamin water at home. The real stuff. The good stuff. And best of all, you can make many more flavors than you could ever find in the store (without those strange technicolors attached to them) using just fruits and herbs.

Fresh, ripe, in-season fruits provide your vitamins and antioxidants in a refreshing sip. And ounce for ounce, herbs contain more phytonutrients than almost all the produce sold in your supermarket. They’re especially high in anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and can even lower blood pressure (basil), promote digestion (mint), improve memory (rosemary), relieve bloating (sage), prevent blood clot formation (tarragon), and even protect brain cells from free radicals (thyme). All that in a little sprig of herb. Who’d a thunk?

Citrus-Basil-Mint Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 small grapefruit, sliced
1 small orange, sliced
2 tablespoons minced mint
2 tablespoons minced basil

Method

I used orange mint to complement the citrus water, but feel free to use any variety you have. I also used my African Blue basil, but a sweeter basil (like Genovese) would be delicious as well.

Since you’ll be infusing the citrus with their rinds, be sure to wash and scrub them thoroughly.

Lightly muddle the citrus slices in a pitcher, toss in the fresh herbs (minced as finely as you can — you’ll be drinking this stuff), then add water. Stir well and let the vitamin water infuse in the fridge overnight.

Sliced citrus and minced herbs

Minced basil

Homemade citrus-basil-mint vitamin water

I often drink an entire pitcher in one day, so as the weather gets warmer and I’m in the mood for something refreshing, I’ll infuse a new pitcher of vitamin water every day. I usually infuse the fruits and herbs twice, then compost the mixture and make a new batch. (After refilling the original pitcher, I find that the fruits and herbs start to lose their flavor once I’ve made two pitchers with them.)

Here are a few more of my favorite recipes… You can infuse almost any fresh fruits and herbs together, so give a hand at your own combinations and go crazy with it! This is a really fun way to use some of those fancy herbs in your garden too. I grow ginger mint, apple mint, pineapple sage, perilla, lime balm, lemon verbena, lemon thyme, and several types of basil from spicy to sweet, and find that they’re perfect for making infused waters and teas.

With all fruit, muddle them a bit before adding the herbs and water so you get all those good juicy benefits!

Day at the Spa Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 tablespoons minced mint

Citrus-Rosemary Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 small grapefruit, sliced
1 small orange, sliced
1 tablespoon minced rosemary

Pineapple-Mint (or Perilla) Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients:

9 cups water
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 tablespoons minced mint (or if you can get your hands on perilla — also known as Japanese shiso or Vietnamese tía tô — which is part of the mint family, use that instead for a fragrant twist!)

Berry-Sage Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup whole berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a mix)
1 tablespoon minced sage

Strawberry-Kiwi-Basil Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup halved strawberries
1 cup cubed kiwi (or use 1 lime, sliced)
2 tablespoons minced basil

Watermelon-Lime-Mint Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup cubed watermelon
1 lime, sliced
2 tablespoons minced mint

Cherry-Lime-Tarragon Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup pitted and halved cherries
1 lime, sliced
1 tablespoon minced tarragon (or use 2 tablespoons minced mint)

Blueberry-Peach-Thyme Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup whole blueberries
1 cup cubed peaches
1 tablespoon minced thyme

Minty Peach Vitamin Water
Makes 2 liters

Ingredients

9 cups water
1 cup cubed peaches
2 tablespoons minced mint

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July 5 2013      36 comments     Linda Ly
En La Cocina   Frutas   Hierbas

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  • http://www.nx8.name/ Nx8

    Look them attractive too. It is true that the useful knowledge. Thank you for sharing

  • jo

    How long does it need to steep before drinking?

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      I like to let mine sit in the fridge overnight for the fullest flavor, but if you muddle your fruits well, you can drink it right away.

  • Chaydaree

    I just made your Kimchi. WOW! My wife was crazy for it. I’m dying to try it on a grilled cheese sandwich. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Cary Bradley

    What terrific ideas for many different tastes! You just inspired me to make a quickie with onhand ingredients, lime, basil and crushed blueberries as well as icy cold well water. Thanks for the terrific ideas!

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