Side Dish

No problem staying hydrated when water looks and tastes like a summertime treat. Here’s what to know when you fancy up your H2O.

Infusing water with the essence of fruits, herbs, and other botanicals helps you drink plenty of liquids without the downside of excess sugars, and artificial flavorings. It’s beneficial hydration in every refreshing sip.

But before you get started, there are a few essentials you should know to make sure that drink of infused water is as good as it can be.

Best Practices

Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove chemicals, pesticides, and other residues.


Use cold or room temperature filtered water. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out of the ingredients.


Glass, plain and simple. You can splash out for purpose-built infusing pitchers and bottles, but you don’t have to. Spend on fresh produce instead.

Prep Tips

1. Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.

2. Crush ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon. Tear or crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.

Soak Time

1. Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.

2. Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately.

3. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.

4. Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours. Citrus, and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.

5. After 4 hours, unpeeled citrus can make water taste bitter.

6. To keep sipping all day long, refill your infused water container when it’s half full. It will be weaker than your first drink, but still flavorful.