Reader’s Question: Homemade Flavored Water

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on February 3, 2010

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Photo by Mary Muses

Hi Jenn,

I have a question for you regarding flavored water.  Generally I enjoy the taste of buying the flavored water however I also find it way too costly.  I do try to buy it when its on sale-but there has to be an even better way.

Do you have suggestions for making my own flavored water?

Thanks,

Jennifer

Well that is a great question!

I have to admit, I don’t know any way to give you the exact flavor that you get from those expensive store bought, chemically enhanced waters.   Instead I can give you lots of tasty and inexpensive ways to add a little “zip” to plain tap water.

To start with I find that water usually tastes the best when it is cold.  If you can, use filtered water (my fridge has a filtered water dispenser built in the door).  If your water is chlorinated you can use the old frugalite trick-fill a pitcher up with water then leave it on the counter uncovered overnight.  The chlorine will evaporate out of the water and so will that “pool water” taste.

A pitcher of Lemon Water

Photo by Exlibris

1.  Add a dash of lemon, lime or orange-either fresh from the fruit or out of a bottle.  This is my personal favorite!  I even drink this warm in the winter.

2.  Crush up a couple of mint leaves-hopefully free from your own garden.

3.  Go for a spa inspired drink and add some cucumber slices (in season of course).

4.  Brew some herbal tea to give it some zing.  Just make sure you use some coupons, buy it on sale or find an off brand.

5.  Add a bit of store brand sugar free lemonade/fruit flavored powder.

Mint Flavored Water

Photo by Courtoly

6.  Infuse with berries-in season of course.  Just bruise a few fresh, ripe berries and toss them in your glass.  The longer they sit, the more the flavor.  You could do a pitcher at a time and let it sit in the fridge.

7.  Boil water with some fresh ginger, cool & drink.  You could in a pinch use a bit of powdered ginger.

8.  A very old fashioned way to give water that little something extra is to add a splash of cider vinegar.*

9.  Add bit of flavored coffee syrup-either sugar “full” or sugar-free.

Cucmber Flavored Water

Photo by Quinn.Anya

Remember though-if you want this to be a frugal option then you need to do a little math to see if you are really saving any money.

10.  Use some “extract” from your baking cupboard.

Like a little more sweetness?  Add a bit of sugar.  If you are concerned about it dissolving, whip up some simple syrup to keep in the fridge.  Of course if you decide to add artificial sweetener it will dissolve just fine-but cost more.

So dear readers, what are some of your favorite ways to flavor water?

*Note: Don’t use balsamic vinegar for this-apparently it is more oily and you won’t be pleased with the result.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex M February 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

I hate to suggest this, but I will anyway! These ideas work well with vodka too!

In fact to add another frugal dimension to that statement, a bunch of degenerate college students did surveys as part of a research project where they took cheap vodka and double filtered it through a Britta, then tested it against more premium/expensive brands. With extra filtering, the vodka fooled many.

I just read an article about how folks are cutting down on premium liquors. Here’s one way to make due!

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TJ February 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm

If you have a store nearby that carries hispanic products, there is a powdered mix called Zuko, it doesn’t require any added sugar and is inexpensive. We use a small amount to flavor water at home or in bottles. I can buy it regularly for 33 cents a packet, and on sale for 25 cents a packet. Depending on how sweet you like it, a little bit can go a long way. Plus the flavors are fun, Mango, Pineapple…

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Dawn February 5, 2010 at 11:35 am

What about taking juice such as pineapple, grape or whatever and freezing it as ice cubes? Then put one or two of those in with your water and you have an easy, cheap flavoring.

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Lauralee August 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Thanks so mush i tried it all… they are amazing!!!!!!!!! :P

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