Is anybody else as adverse as I am to drinking water throughout the day? I know all the benefits and how good it is for my skin etc , especially in this weather. But I cannot get past how much of a chore it is. I spotted a water dispenser in the canteen in work, filled with combinations of fruit and thought that is an idea I could take home.
I bought a Kilner drinks dispenser and got busy. With any infused water the trick seems to be give it at least a few hours to build the flavours. I tend to make it and leave it overnight to infuse. With regard to recipes, there’s definitely no hard or fast rules. If you want stronger flavours throw in more ingredients. Be economical about it, pick up what’s on special in Lidl or Aldi and if you grow your own herbs throw them in too.
Three great combinations I have loved are:
Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary
Orange and Fennel
Watermelon and Mint
Just pop the herb in first, muddle it around in a tiny bit of water in the bottom, then add the sliced fruit pieces, top up with your water and let it sit. It will keep fine for a couple of days in the fridge or on a countertop out of direct sunlight. So far the novelty hasn’t worn off, and fingers crossed it stays that way. I can envisage more autumnal combinations like apple and cloves or blackberries and cinnamon as the seasons change.
As we are starting to hit our stride, and readily admit that this summer we are actually getting ‘a summer’, we have diary dates for BBQs , camping trips and picnics. The food element is always the easiest part to plan. I have a slew of go-to recipes for each occasion, and shop bought options too. But when it comes to what to drink that’s a bit of a puzzle for me . I became tee-total two years ago, and before that I always just made sure there was plenty of prosecco and beer at our get togethers, and a couple of bottles of coke or 7-up thrown in for good measure. But now I am at a loss as to what to have. I don’t miss drinking , but I do miss the novelty of having a cocktail to get the party started .
So here’s a couple of mocktail recipes I’ve tried out and that are perfect for these summer evenings.
Summer Punch (Serves 6 – 8)
Take a clean glass bottle with a cap and chop in whatever fruit you like, for this one I used peaches, strawberries and the herb lemon verbena. Fill with cranberry juice and give it a good shake (after the lid is on). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and once you are ready to serve just mix it, per glass, with plenty of ice and lemonade, ginger ale or prosecco for those who to like a tipple. It’s quite a sweet mix so just add to your own taste.
Mock Mojito (Serves 1)
Take a glass, squish in three lime quarters and 5 or 6 mint leaves and muddle them around for a bit . Throw in loads of ice. Then pour in half ginger ale and half soda water , mix it all around and then pop in a straw and enjoy!
TOP TIP: Fill an ice cube tray a third of the way up and freeze, then add some wee flowers, sliced citrus fruit or berries and top up with another third of water, refreeze and then take out and top up with the final third and freeze, and you will have the cutest party ice cubes (and flowers floating around in your drink once they have melted).
Enjoy the sunshine! x