How to Infuse Water

If you’ve ever wondered how to infused water with herbs, wonder no longer. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make water a little more enticing. Use herbs, citrus, cucumber, spices, flower petals…anything your heart and taste buds desire.

Four bottles of infused water prepared using the instructions on how to infuse water.

Why spend half your paycheck on pricey infused waters when you can make them at home? Not only is it easy and less expensive than bottled infused water, you can custom create any concoction you can imagine. Simply toss whatever herbs, citrus, or spices you fancy into some water. Exactly what you need when you’re hopelessly bored by sipping plain water all day. Originally published August 31, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Vary Up Your Infused Water

Prepare to be wowed. Look below and you’ll find an array of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and edible flowers that are perfect candidates for infused water. (Kindly note, the suggested amounts of infusing ingredients listed are for only one ingredient at a time. If you want to infuse water with more than a single ingredient at a time, that’s fine, just cut back a touch on the amount of each ingredient.) As you buy your ingredients, it’s best to steer clear of anything that’s been sprayed with pesticide or herbicides since the chemicals, too, will infuse your water. That means buy organic or ask your local farmer if he uses such chemicals.

Herbal Infusions
Anise hyssop, apple mint, basil, calendula, chamomile, chives, dill, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage (pineapple sage makes a wonderful herbal infusion), spearmint, and thyme (especially lemon thyme).

Floral Infusions
Bee balm, borage, carnations, dianthus, fennel fronds, hibiscus, hollyhock, honeysuckle flowers (avoid the poisonous berries), jasmine flowers, Johnny-jump-ups, lavender buds, lilac, nasturtiums, pansies, roses, scented geraniums, sunflowers, and violets.

Spice Infusions
Allspice berries, cardamom pods, whole cloves, crystallized ginger pieces, fennel seeds, juniper berries, star anise, and vanilla bean.

Fruit and Vegetable Infusions
Citrus peel (lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, tangelos, etc.), cranberries, cucumber slices, fresh berries, fresh ginger slices, and melon cubes.

How to Infuse Water

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 5 M
  • 8 H, 5 M
  • Makes 8 cups
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Ingredients

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Directions

Place your choice of infusing ingredients in a large container with a lid. Top off with the water, secure the lid, and give the contents a good shake.

For intensely flavored infused water, place the container of water in full sun for 5 to 8 hours, depending on how robust a flavor you wish to achieve. The longer you let the ingredients steep, the more intense the flavor. (A glass container is ideal for doing a sun infusion, as the sun’s rays can best penetrate and warm such a vessel. Be warned that the water may take on some of the color of the infusing ingredient.) For mildly flavored infused water, place the container of water in the refrigerator for 5 to 8 hours, depending on how robust a flavor you wish to achieve. The longer you let the ingredients steep, the more intense the flavor.

Straining isn’t necessary, although if desired, you can strain the water and toss the solids in the compost or the trash. Place the infused water in the refrigerator and use within a couple days.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was the first time that I ever tried to infuse my own water, and I absolutely loved the results! Prior to trying this recipe, I’d had the flavored sparkling water like LaCroix, but this infused water recipe beats the manufactured brands hands down.

I tried the sun-infused method and used spearmint as my herb of choice. Because I'd never used fresh mint before, I was a bit surprised when I came home to find that I had made "sun tea." My water had a brownish tint but one taste was enough for my new addiction to infused water. The water was so refreshing and delicious that I drank a cup fresh from the sun. I refrigerated the remainder overnight and the next day I took it to work where I enjoyed the entire bottle. I raved about it to my health-conscious co-workers and resolved to try new mixtures in the future.

Why didn't I do this before? It looks like I will start drinking more water because this infused water recipe is very refreshing for our hot Texas summers. It’s simple to make and very refreshing. I placed mine in the sun to infuse but will try just placing in the refrigerator to see the difference. I guess that would be cold brew.

I now have several flavors in my refrigerator. My favorite, so far, is vanilla. The herbs I tried were: lemon balm, basil, and pineapple mint (all fresh picked from our garden). I also did orange peel, cranberries (frozen and thawed) and fresh blackberries. I'm looking forward to combining some of the herbs with fruit. I think lemon or orange and basil will make a great flavor combination.

I highly recommend making just 1 batch to start off with and see if you like the flavor. Then feel free to double the batch and enjoy!

I tasted the water at 5 hours but decided to let it go for the full 8 hours. Be forewarned that basil left to infuse for 8 hours was very strong.

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Comments

  1. Will keeping the infused water in full sun for up to 5-8 hours not turn the ingredients a bit rancid? I have sometimes made the mistake of leaving it on the countertop overnight to find the whole jug smelling off.

    1. Thanks for mentioning this, fariya. We haven’t found it to be an issue, but if you are in a very warm climate, or any of the ingredients you use for the infusion are past their prime, this could become a problem. In this case, it’s best to use the fridge method.

  2. Can we talk? I have a medical condition called IBS and that requires drinking a lot of water. I hate water so I’ve been using pricey MIO water flavoring which I just found out is very bad for you and produces the opposite results for my condition. I’m extremely happy I found your website so I can get some ideas from the experts out there. Through studying on Google I find that raspberries, kiwi, and oranges are good solutions to my problem. I like the ideas you spoke about in your post about combining fruits with spices however I have no Garden and no clue as to what to grab from my pantry which is filled with dried spices or whether I need to buy the expensive little packages in the grocers produce department. ….. And what about pepper. Can one use black peppercorns tied in cheesecloth? A little confused but hopeful.

    1. Vicki, I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing that condition but happy to hear you taking care of yourself. We can’t offer medical advice, of course, on what will help or not for you, but we can advise you to stick with what you know you like and that you can tolerate. Or perhaps consult with a naturopath or Ayurvedic practitioner. As with so much of cooking, this recipe is open to tweaking and experimenting. Fresh herbs, as opposed to dried, are going to offer the most potency in terms of flavor as well as healing properties. If you’re using orange or other citrus, consider using organic and be certain to use unpeeled citrus as the benefits are mostly in the peel. As for spices, it depends on what you use, but you want to make certain they have some potency left, so try what you have but if the flavor isn’t pronounced enough then consider buying a new stash. Some grocery stores offer spices in bulk bins so you can purchase as much or as little as you need. Wishing you all the best…

  3. I love drinking infused water since they are really refreshing. I had a great time reading this article, thanks a lot for sharing! 🙂

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