Ever notice how certain trends cycle back over and over again? Two generations ago, you would never have found a kitchen in the summer that didn’t have a cold pitcher of water with handfuls of fresh fruit bobbing inside.
The trend is back at both homes and hotels, and now we call it spa water. We all could do with drinking a bit more water, especially when the summer temps heat up, and infusing your water with some yummy fruits and tasty herbs can be a real thirst quencher. Unfortunately, you should make it yourself: most store-bought flavored waters are full of unnecessary sugar. Here are some fun spa water recipes to get you started.
(All these recipes assume a water pitcher of at least 1 gallon. For much larger containers, adjust recipe to taste. For full flavor, let the fruit sit in the water in a chilled environment for at least two hours. )
Spa Water Aguas Frescas
In Spanish, aguas frescas means “fresh waters.” If your resort in Mexico is serving aguas frescas, you’ll likely see a milky liquid – that’s because it contains horchata, a rice-based beverage, in the mix. Some of them also have tea or herbal seed, like chia. Here’s an aguas frescas inspired spa water recipe:
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 honeydew melon
- 1/2 cantaloupe
Spa Water “Southern Charm”
I don’t know why, but when I think of watermelon, I always think of the southern US (maybe because I have had some of the best watermelon there!). Watermelon itself is full of water, but it also makes for a delicious fruit water concoction:
- 4 cups of sliced watermelon, seeds removed
- 2 cups of strawberries, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt (this helps pull the flavor out of the watermelon)
Instead of strawberries, you can swap in basil leaves for an even more refreshing water.
Apple Cinnamon “Detox” Spa Water
I’ve been told multiple times that apple + cinnamon water is detoxifying. While I couldn’t find any scientific evidence to prove this, it is true that cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels in the body, and eating apples can pull some toxins from the body, so it’s worth a shot. Plus, it is a tasty combo – hard to beat, right?
- 1 cinnamon stick (don’t use ground cinnamon)
- 1-2 apples, sliced thinly
For this one, it’s better to leave it sit overnight for full flavor.
Colorful Crowd Pleaser Water
Having a party and want that water that just looks as good as it tastes? Not that I’ve seen an ugly fruit water, but this combo is definitely a crowd pleaser:
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 2 limes, thinly sliced
- 2 oranges
- 1 cucumber
If your lemons and limes are small, throw in an extra. Once you’ve got everything sliced and in the pitcher, give it a good stir, and then again before serving. Absolutely and totally refreshing – this combo is not a bad palette cleanser either for food & wine night.
Rest & Relaxation Water
How about a relaxing water combo for those days you just want to enjoy a cold drink from the comfort of your back patio chaise lounger or Adirondack chair? This pair is perfect for exactly that:
- 5 lemons, sliced thinly
- 1.5 cups of mint leaves
Berries, lavender, ginger: the combinations are endless!
For more spa water ideas, there’s even a book full of them,
perfect to take your spa water culinary skills to the next level.
Finding the Perfect Water Pitcher
For serving up these tasty spa waters at dinner parties and weekend backyard cookouts, you’ll need an appropriate pitcher. Some things to look for when buying water pitchers:
- Mostly, you get what you pay for: Cheap water pitchers are, uh, cheap. Spend for the upgrade – it’s worth it, even if you only plan on using it a few summer months each year.
- If you want a party pitcher, look for a metal spigot: This is the part most often complained about – and it can be a source of leaks and other issues. Metal spigots are best. If it’s plastic, be sure to check reviews before buying.
- Clear glass is better: The acids in some fruits will gently eat away at plastics – and not all plastic pitchers are BPA-free (a chemical that can leech out of commercial plastics). Glass can break, but it’s still a better option.
- Double-check the sizing: Product photographers are smart, and some pictures can make the pitcher look bigger than it is, so check the description on the size.
Tip: For that amazing spa water look, pour in your water, put the ice in the middle, and then slide larger pieces of fruit around the edges. They’ll stay there for the most part!
A pitcher that gets rave reviews, despite the aforementioned plastic spigot, is the Roxborough: it looks classy and holds 2.5 gallons of beverage. For pretty pour pitchers, anything from Bormioli Rocco is good.
Most pitchers have terrible reviews; honestly, I think it would be better to just go with simple glass jugs that pour, and you don’t really need that fruit infuser – who cares if a bit of fruit gets into your glass? Keep it simple.
What are your spa water favorites? Take a picture and tell us the story over on our Facebook wall.
Photo Credits: Lead photo by Margo Millure. Product photos provided by manufacturers.
Tell us what you'd like us to make for you.