Dear Frugal Upstate,
I have a question for you regarding flavored water. Generally I enjoy the taste of the flavored water you buy, however I find it way too costly. I do try to buy it when its on sale to save money. I was wondering, do you have suggestions for making my own flavored water?
Well Jennifer the least expensive option is to just learn to drink plain water! If you simply must have flavored water then I have a few ideas for you.
note: I’m assuming for the sake of simplicity that you are interested in single servings of flavored water, especially since that is the way it’s normally sold in the store.
1. Purchase single serving water flavorings. These are now available not only as “drink sticks” of powdered lemon aid, tea etc, but also now in liquid drops that you add to a glass or bottle of water. Mio drops are the ones I have seen in the stores. The kids and I had the chance to test some of the Mio orange flavor drops-which were fine. More or less like drinking orange kool aid.
2. Add a slice of citrus. This is a classic in “spa” settings-you just add a slice or two of lemon, lime, orange etc to your water. This gives a bit of a flavor “tang” without any sweetness. If you want a bit of sweet you could add a bit of simple syrup (ie sugar dissolved in hot water then cooled) or an artificial sweetner. I guess you could just chuck some sugar straight in but it will take a while to dissolve.
Note: whenever you are using a peel or rind in an edible situation let’s make sure you aren’t eating a ton of pesticide! At the very least scrub the outside well in warm water to remove any surface contaminants and/or wax. Organic is the better answer in this situation though!
3. Add a squirt of lemon/lime juice. This works like adding a slice of citrus-but without the actual fruit. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to have a bottle of lemon juice in my fridge than an actual lemon.
4. Add some sliced cucumber. This is another refreshing spa favorite.
5. Use unsweetened fruit teas. This takes a little more planning but you can brew some fruit tea and then either add just a bit of sweetner or leave it plain, then chill in your fridge. Either drink as is or use part plain water part fruit tea to get the flavor you like.
6. Add cider vinegar. Adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to your water gives it a fruity tang. You can add a bit of sugar, honey or sweetner as well. As an added benefit many people feel a “raw” vinegar has health benefits.
7. Try baking extract. This one is more of a theory for me-I haven’t actually tried it-but I don’t see why you couldn’t put a drop of your favorite baking extract (strawberry, orange, pineapple etc) into a bottle of water.
Hope one of these ideas works for you!
Do any of you wonderful readers have experience with flavoring your own water? What’s worked for you?