In celebration of National Water Quality Month, created to help remind us of the importance of protecting our water supplies, I wanted to share some recipes for herb-infused waters that are as healthful as they are delicious.
For these recipes, I chose herbs that are growing in my garden, along with a complementary flavor – citrus gives the blends a nice zing, and vanilla beans add a light sweetness to the water. There are unlimited flavor combinations, and it is fun to experiment with a variety of herbs, spices and fruit. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Lavender and Vanilla
• 1/4 cup fresh lavender, buds crushed slightly to release the flavor
• 1/2 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
Mint and Lime
• The rind of 1 lime
• 1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
Shiso and Lemon
• 1/2 cup fresh shiso, coarsely chopped
• The rind of 1 lemon
1. Place ingredients in a quart-sized canning jar and fill with cold, filtered water.
2. Allow the filled jar to sit, refrigerated, for 8-12 hours to allow the flavors to infuse.
3. Strain out the ingredients and return the water to the jar. Keep the jar in the fridge to keep it chilled. It will last 2-3 days.
4. When serving, add some fresh sprigs of herbs or slices of fruit to your glass for a beautiful presentation.
You can adjust the amounts of the ingredients for more intense or milder flavors. Have fun experimenting!
I have never heard of shiso. We just returned from Iceland where infused waters were served by the pitcher in many restaurants.
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First of all, welcome back from Iceland! That sounds like a wonderful place to visit. And it’s very cool that infused waters are so readily available there. Shiso (aka Japanese basil) is an herb with a unique, delicate almost floral flavor to it. It’s often used in ume rolls at sushi restaurants to complement the flavor of the plum. Here’s a recipe http://www.thekitchn.com/try-this-ume-shiso-maki-roll-100191. Good stuff!