We’ve had some super hot days recently. According to the weather folks, 11 days have had temperatures in the 90s, with more in the forecast. After working in the garden on a hot day, I like to enjoy infused water to cool me down.

Strawberry infused water

Strawberry and mint makes a refreshing infused water.

We all know we need to stay hydrated when outside on a hot day. How much fluid you need from water, other beverages and food depends on your age, size and activity level, but it may be more than you think, according to the Mayo Clinic. Infused waters are fun to make, don’t have sugars to bog you down and are so thirst-quenching you’re sure to drink enough of them to stay hydrated.

You probably have seen infused water before. It’s basically water with fruit, herbs or vegetables soaked in it. Over time, the infusion develops a light, refreshing flavor.

basil infused water

Thai basil (flowers and all) imparts a wonderful herb flavor to infused water.

What to infuse your water with? Start with things that grow prolifically in your garden — vegetables, fruit and herbs you want to use up. Right now, that’s cucumbers, mint and lemon balm for me. Slice up a small cucumber or half of a large one, and put it in the bottom of a mason jar. Add a handful of your favorite herb plus water and let it sit in the refrigerator. Enjoy it after time in the garden. You can size up the quantities to make enough to last the day or even the weekend.

Fruit makes a wonderful option in infused water, too. Try berries, especially strawberries or raspberries, or use some citrus from the store for extra tang. Or, how about melon slices in your water. (This melon mocktail is another great way to use up cantaloupes or watermelons from your garden.) And, you can eat the fruit at the bottom of your glass when you are done.

Some herbs are more dominant in the infused water than others. An infused water with Thai basil and ginger was herby and delicious very quickly, while a mixture of cucumbers and lemon balm with citrus was much milder. Experiment with what you have in your garden, and let us know in the comments your favorite infusions.

 

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