6 DIY superfood-infused thirst quenchers

With fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs, these simple enhanced water recipes are perfect for making healthy flavor-packed refreshments.

We know soda is bad for us. We know juice has a lot of natural sugar and doesn't have the fiber of whole fruits. We know that there are certain antioxidant-rich foods but we may not get enough of them. We know we are supposed to drink sufficient amounts of water, but some people find it's hard to fulfill the requirement.

What's the solution for this quartet of quandaries? Enhanced waters! They may have been all the rage a while ago, but they are a phenomenon that should not go gentle into that good night.

When cleaning out my cookbooks recently I came across my copy of the book Cool Waters: 50 Refreshing, Healthy, Homemade Thirst Quenchers (Harvard Common Press) by Brian Preston-Campbell. It was published in 2009 and I loved it when I got it – it's beautiful and creative and transforms plain water into magical elixirs – but then it somehow slipped into hiding and my parade of infused waters faded into two: water with cucumber and water with lemon. Yawn. I am so excited to be having a reunion with this pretty little book ... and in my delight, I thought others might also appreciate a refresher in refreshments. So without further ado, a sante!

Pressed Watermelon with Basil Water

  • 4 cups watermelon chunks (about 1/4 large melon)
  • 6 to 8 basil leaves
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

1. Combine the watermelon chunks and basil in a colander placed over a large bowl. Using a metal ladle or spoon, press the watermelon to extract as much juice as possible (the remaining pulp should be fairly dry).
2. Season the juice with the sea salt and vinegar an strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add the water, stir, and serve.

Blueberry Twist

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 cup still water
  • 4 cups chilled sparkling water

1. Place the blueberries, lemon zest, ginger, and still water in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher.
2. Add the sparkling water, stir gently, and serve.

June Fields

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries hulled
  • 1 cup still water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lavender leaves
  • 4 cups chilled sparkling water

1. Puree the strawberries in a blender with the still water until smooth, for about 1 minute. During the last 10 seconds, add the lavender.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add the sparkling water, stir gently, and serve.

Superfood infused water© Jerry Errico/Harvard Common Press

Apio-Rey

  • 2 large stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 cup still water
  • 4 cups sparkling water

1. Puree the chopped celery, celery seeds, coriander seeds, and grapes in a blender with the still water. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher.
2. Add the sparkling water, stir gently, and serve.

Orange and Tamarind Elixir

  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 20 fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 3 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 4 cups still water

1. Crush the coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add the cilantro leaves and bruise them slightly.
2. Place the mixture in a large pitcher and add the orange juice, tamarind paste, and water. Stir well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into another larger pitcher and serve cold.

Eau de Carotte

  • 1 medium-size carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored
  • One 1-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups chilled still water

1. Place the carrot, apple, and ginger in a blender with 2 cups of the water and puree until smooth, for about 1 minute.
2. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher, pressing on the solids with a ladle or rubber spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Add the remaining water and stir. Serve cold.

Photos: Top left, Pressed Watermelon with Basil Water; top right, Apio-Rey; bottom left, Orange and Tamarind Elixir; bottom right, Eau de Carotte.

Tags: Drinks | Summer

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