How to Make Flavored Water

Three Parts:Basic Fruit RecipesFlavoring Water with FruitKicking It up a Notch

Fruit-infused water is delicious and healthy. Keep a pitcher or two in your refrigerator and staying hydrated will be much easier.

Part 1
Basic Fruit Recipes

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    Make citrus water. Wash 1–3 citrus fruits per quart (liter). Slice into thin rounds and leave in cold water for at least three hours. If you plan to leave it in longer for more intense flavor, cut off the rinds first to avoid bitter flavors.[1]
    • See below for a step-by-step guide covering all fruit and herb recipes.
    • Try adding ¼ cup (60mL) mint or basil leaves.
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    Flavor with strawberries or raspberries. Use about 1 cup (240mL) fruit per quart (liter) water. Fresh berries won't infuse well until they're crushed with a wooden spoon. Frozen berries are already broken, but you may crush further to speed things up. Infuse for three hours or more, then strain.
    • This combines well with the juice of half a lemon.
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    Create a cucumber concoction. Slice a cucumber into thin rounds and add to a pitcher of water. Let steep overnight, then drink within a day or two.[2]
    • Optionally, cut the whole cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp before slicing.
    • Enhance this mild flavor with three or four slices of lemon or cubes of pineapple.
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    Mix blackberry and sage. This sophisticated combination is subtle, but delicious. Try 1 cup (240mL) blackberries per quart (liter), plus a handful of sage leaves.[3]
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    Infuse with apple. Apple and other hard fruits don't seep flavor as quickly as others. Slice very thinly and infuse for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. An hour before serving, transfer to room temperature for added flavor.[4]

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Part 2
Flavoring Water with Fruit

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    Select your fruit. Follow one of the recipes above, or just choose your favorite fruit. You can play around with the amounts, but start with several small fruits per quart (liter), or 1–2 cups (240–480mL) berries or cubed fruit.
    • Fresh fruit in season has the best flavor. Frozen fruit won't look as attractive, but may have more flavor than out-of-season fresh fruit.[5]
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    Wash fruit thoroughly. Rub all fresh fruit thoroughly under cool, running water. Since the peel will be sitting in the water, scrubbing contaminants off the surface is extra important.
    • If the fruit is not organic, consider peeling it to remove pesticides on the surface.
    • This is not necessary for frozen fruit.
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    Slice into wedges or rounds. Round will infuse more quickly on their own, if they are weighed down underneath ice cubes. Wedges may not add much flavor unless you muddle the fruit as described below.
    • Slice rounds in half for a narrow pitcher.
    • No slicing is necessary for berries or cubed fruit.
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    Add to cold water. Drop your fruit into a pitcher of chilled or room temperature water. If you dislike the taste of your tap water, put it through a filtration device before adding fruit.
    • Hot water will infuse with flavor more quickly, but turns the fruit into mush and may destroy some nutrients.[6]
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    Muddle gently (optional). Crushing the fruit will speed up the infusion significantly, but you may end up with a murky, pulpy mixture. For a more attractive pitcher, squeeze some of the juice out using a wooden spoon handle, pressing and twisting but not pulverizing the fruit completely.[7] Leave the fruit untouched if you can wait a few hours.
    • Alternatively, leave whole slices in for decoration, but squeeze in the juice of one fruit to add more flavor.
    • To flavor a single glass of water for immediate drinking, pulverize the fruit with a muddling stick.
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    Add a handful of herbs (optional). Mint and basil are the most common options, but you can use rosemary, sage, or just about any other herb. Rinse the leaves, then rub them between clean hands to bruise them slightly before adding to the water.
    • You can add dried herbs, but place them in a tea strainer so they don't leave fragments in the drink.
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    Add ice (optional). Besides chilling the water, ice weighs down fruit that floats to the top, and filters out some of the fruit pieces while pouring.
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    Wait for infusion. Chill the water in the refrigerator for 3–4 hours, or up to 12 hours for extra-potent flavor. To avoid bacteria and unpleasant flavors, strain out ingredients after 12 hours and drink within three days.[8] Stir before serving.
    • The water will infuse faster at room temperature, but also decompose faster. Steep for 1–2 hours, and drink within 4–5 hours of mixing.

Part 3
Kicking It up a Notch

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    Combine with tea. Let your fruit sit in the same pitcher as a tea bag or tea strainer. Keep this at room temperature, so the tea infuses without overpowering the other flavors. Steep for 1–3 hours, remove tea, and drink immediately. Try these recipes, adding each one to a quart (liter) of water:
    • Black tea bag, three mandarin oranges, four basil leaves, black tea bag[9]
    • Two green tea bags, ½ mango (sliced), ¼ cup (60mL) strawberries
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    Infuse with spices. Add a stick of cinnamon, a tablespoon (15mL) fresh grated ginger, and/or ¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract. These work particularly well in tangy recipes. Try the following:
    • ½ cup (120mL) cubed pineapple, ½ sliced orange, 1 tbsp (15mL) grated ginger[10]
    • 1 cup (240mL) blueberries, ¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
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    Replace regular water with seltzer. Make your own soda replacement with low sugar and no artificial sweeteners.
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    Mix in coconut water. Replace ¼ of your water with coconut water. Try infusing with peaches or honeydew melon.
    • You may use coconut milk instead, but the thicker, richer drink may be more difficult to balance with fruit.


  • Large canning jars are cheaper than pitchers. Buy a box of them if you'd like to make a variety of water drinks.
  • The leftover fruit has lent most of its flavor to the water, but it remains edible.


  • Fruit or herbs left in the water may rot without any visible signs. Do not leave at room temperature for more than 5 hours, or in the refrigerator for more than three days.

Things You'll Need

  • Pitcher or large canning jar
  • Knife
  • Refrigerator (optional)
  • Ice (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Water Ice and Sports Drinks