Jump in, the water’s fine

lavender mint

lavender mint

When I’m thirsty on a hot day, like the ones we’re finally having in the Carolina urban swamp, I find Vintage Raleigh Tap perfectly refreshing. But some people I know (primarily male people, for some reason) simply won’t drink plain, old water. The bulging supermarket shelves dedicated to flavored waters of all kinds bear out my impression. I laughed when I first saw a product in a small flask that allows you to flavor your own bottle of water. We had that when I was a kid. It was called Kool-Ade.

Many of the products also claim they’re making H2O healthier in some way, adding a miniscule amount of minerals of vitamins. What most of them add is a lot of sugar or fake sweeteners. And they add to company

other mint, maybe kentucky colonel

other mint, maybe kentucky colonel

profits.

Confirmed agua-phobes don’t much listen when I attempt to convince them that naked water is good. I see them reach for caffeine-free, sugar-free sodas and point out that, except for the color, chemicals and fizz, they’re basically getting what flows from the kitchen spigot. Doesn’t work. And that stuff costs more, too.

Here’s an easy way to refresh yourself or try to tempt the anti-water crowd: Infusing water with herbs. Mint is an obvious choice, and my mint is overflowing. I have two kinds, a conventional type (I think it might be Kentucky Colonel) and a lavender mint with a fascinatin hint of lavender flavor and scent. I grab about a half a cup of each – stems and all are OK – or a whole cup of one kind. Wash it. Put it in a pitcher. Pour about a quart of boiling water over it. Let it sit for 20 or 30 minutes or longer, however much flavor you want. Then remove the herbs. I sweeten mine with a little stevia, or sometimes sugar. Or you could leave it as-is.

The same thing works with other herbs: lemon balm, lemon verbena, other mints; even basil, if you’re adventurous.

The infusion will keep in the refrigerator several days. Mix it with ice if the flavor is too strong for some people, although I can’t imagine who that might be if they’re used to drinking those jelly-bean waters.