Water doesn't have to be boring. These fruity infusions are tastier and better for you than sodas. [Photo: Bigstock]

Infused water instead of soda – delicious recipes and tips

28 April, 2014

Soda and other carbonated beverages offer little to nothing in the way of nutrition, may be full of calories, and often don’t even adequately quench your thirst.

Infused water, on the other hand, can be a delicious, calorie-free, sugarless, refreshing alternative with the bonus of added nutrients, and you can make it yourself. So what are you waiting for?

What is infused water?

Infusion simply means letting ingredients (in this case, usually fruits) sit in a liquid to allow their flavour to steep into the water. Basically, infusion adds flavour to water but not the pulp or flesh of the fruit. Infused water is not fruit juice—just flavoured water—and thus virtually calorie free.

You can buy expensive infused water at the grocery store, or you can save money and make your own in just a few minutes (except for the steeping time). Although there are products especially for making infused water, all you really need is one or more glass containers, such as Mason jars or leftover quart jars, wine carafes, or glass pitchers and you are ready to go!

Tips on choosing and using ingredients

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes) are best because they add both flavor and aroma to the water and they steep well. Other excellent choices are pineapple, apples, watermelon, and berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), while fruits such as mangos, guava, peaches, and bananas get squishy and leave pieces in the water.
  • Don’t stop with fruit: be creative and add some veggies such as cucumbers, radishes, or carrots. Herbs and spices such as cinnamon sticks, peppermint, spearmint, basil, rosemary, vanilla beans, lemongrass, and ginger can really spark up your infused water.
  • If your kids resist drinking infused water (after all, it’s so much better for them than soda!), try adding just an ounce or two or fresh fruit juice to their infused water.
  • You can jazz up your infused water (especially for company) by adding fruit ice cubes: use berries or grapes and freeze them in ice cubes, then add the cubes to each individual glass of infused water when you serve it.
  • What about the leftover fruit, veggies, and herbs? Don’t throw them away! Some fruits and veggies remain firm enough to eat, but those that have lost their appeal can be used to make smoothies, soups, or pureed to make ice pops. Any other leftovers can be added to your compost pile.

How to make infused water

The basic recipe is simple:

1 Cut up the fruit or veggies into slices, cubes or bite size pieces.

2 If you use herbs, crush or tear up the pieces so the oils are released.

3 Place all the ingredients in a large jar or pitcher of fresh filtered water, stir, and cover it.

4 Allow to steep for at least one hour in the refrigerator, but preferably 8 to 12 for maximum flavour

5 Pour through a strainer and enjoy with or without garnish of your choice.

Infused water recipes
The instructions for each of these recipes are the same (use “How To Make Infused Water” above). Feel free to be creative and make up your own. And don’t forget to reuse the leftovers in yummy smoothies or ice pops!

Here is an option for any recipe: use the amount of fruit, veggies, and herbs given but reduce the amount of water by 50%. This will result in a more flavourful water.

When it’s time to serve the infused water, strain the water into a glass halfway and then add sparkling or carbonated water to fill the rest of the glass. Now you have sparkling infused water!

Pineapple: ¼ pineapple, with rind removed
10 sage leaves, crushed
32 oz (1 ltr) water

Citrus: 2 large lemons, sliced
½ grapefruit, sections cut in half
10 peppermint leaves, crushed
32 oz (1 ltr) water

Cucumber: 10 thin slices of cucumber
1 large lemon, sliced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, crushed
32 oz (1 ltr) water

Apple/Melon: 1 apple, sliced with skin
1 cup watermelon cubes
1 cinnamon stick
32 oz (1 ltr) water

Blackberry: 1 cup blackberries
1 lime, sliced
2 sprigs rosemary or sage
32 oz (1 ltr) water

There are dozens of combinations of infused water. Experiment, enjoy, and serve infused water to your family and friends this summer and year round instead of sugary sodas.


  • This story originally appeared on EmaxHealth. We are grateful for their permission to reproduce it here.