I’m not usually one for flavored drinks, unless, of course, they’re of the adult variety. During the day and at work, I generally stick to water (besides coffee of course). Occasionally a lemon slice will make it’s way into my glass, but besides that it’s rare to find me with a glass of lemonade, iced tea, and practically never soda or juice. Boring, I know, but I don’t really ever even want flavored drinks any more. Occasionally if I’m feeling very dehydrated or under the weather, I’ll drink a Naked juice, usually the Green Monster flavor. And yes, on a hot summer day, lemonade can really hit the spot. But for me, 98% of the time, ice cold water is where it’s at.
But then the other day I was walking around the grocery store, and must have been dehydrated at the time. A bottle of Bai5 Brasilia Blueberry caught my eye. I read the ingredient list, and it truly wasn’t bad. I usually try to avoid sugar alcohols in food because they are not easy for your body to digest. But this was sweetened with the sugar alcohol erythritol, which is generally digested and tolerated a lot better than other sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol. I picked it up along with it’s pear flavored counter part (I mean, a sale is a sale, ya know?) and off I went. The blueberry flavor was actually very good (the pear — not so much), but as good as it was, it still had a hint of that “fake” sugar flavor.
Then later on that week when we ended up with some fresh organic blueberries from the farmer’s market, I had an idea. Why didn’t I make my own blueberry flavored water, without that fake sugar? Without any sugar at all, actually.
And thus was born, Blueberry Raspberry Basil Water. It’s refreshing, it’s light, it’s not sweet, and it was made completely from ingredients that were already in my kitchen. Win!
Next, I added in the blueberries, and muddled those lightly as well. Again, I didn’t want to totally crush the blueberries, just open them up enough that their juices would be able to mingle with the water over time.
Next came frozen raspberries. I wish I had fresh ones, but this was all I had and I really wanted raspberry flavor, so in they went with a little bit of muddling. I figured it would be good enough, but I definitely recommend fresh seasonal fruit over frozen!
I then filled the mason jar up with ice, filled it to the top with water, and stirred it all together for a few minutes. Then it went into the fridge, where I let it sit overnight without touching it.
I’m sure you could let it sit for just a couple hours and it would be good, but giving the flavors the whole night to blossom made for a delicious, crisp, light flavored water for today. And the basil added just enough extra flavor to keep it interesting. (The inspiration for this was definitely the amazing blueberry basil lemonade that I had at Sweetgreen last week!)
I loved this so much, and can’t wait to try more flavors with other fresh fruit and herbs that we pick up this summer! Fresh, healthy, delicious hydration, with bonus points for using local organic fruit. Next time I would love to incorporate lavender or mint, although I’m not sure what I’ll pair them with.
What’s your favorite way to keep hydrated in the summer? Do you tend to prefer plain water or flavored drinks? Have you ever made your own flavored water and what are your favorite ingredients to use?