Having fun with flavors
Water. A most basic ingredient for our survival. Among its many benefits — it is great for flushing toxins out of our bodies, perfect for carrying nutrition to the cells in our bodies and really valuable for keeping our ear, nose and throat tissues moist. Yes! I totally get it. I must drink tons of water each day. But to me — an utter foodie, perpetually craving to excite my taste buds — I find water so bland, tasteless and virtually unappealing. (There! I admit it!) And consuming it in some caffeinated, carbonated or sugared-up form is not the right solution either.
I recently came across an inexpensive water-pitcher, designed for infusion, at Bed Bath & Beyond. All it has is a simple little insert that slides into the pitcher (with small cutout holes). This way your water stays clear and clean as well as easy to pour, while the insert and the fruit inside the insert gently flavors the water.
I am amazed at how a simple infusion can turn something so blah into something utterly irresistible. What a concept! Tons of high-end hotels and spas have been serving this in their lobbies. And everyone who walks past — finds it hard to resist a taste. So why shouldn’t we enjoy it in our own homes?
I have been experimenting with a few flavor combinations at home. The exact proportions are unnecessary as you can totally customize it to your preferences. The possibilities are endless, but some of my current favorites are as follows:
- Sliced strawberries and lemons. The super sweet strawberry flavor really comes out with the tartness of the lemons. I use 1 part lemons to 3 parts strawberries.
- Sliced oranges and lemons. While both these are citrus, I find the lemons really freshen up the flavors a lot. I use 2 parts oranges to one part lemons.
- Sliced cucumbers and roughly chopped mint. A classic summer-time combo. Delicate flavors of the cucumber goes beautifully with mint.
- Chopped pineapples, sliced strawberries and sliced lemons. Love this one! Love the wonderful sweetness that the pineapple adds to this mix making me feel like I am on a Hawaiian island.
The above combos can stay in the insert for up to 5-6 days before you have to replace them. I also tried blueberries and raspberries. Raspberries didn’t last so well in the water after a couple of days. And unless you crush the blueberries a bit, you are not going to get a lot of flavor out of them. But I don’t like to crush the fruit because I like the gentle infusion of flavor rather than the almost fruit-juice like results. Plus crushing the fruit makes the water murky!
Hope you get yourself one of these pitchers and have a blast experimenting.