Flavored Water: Cucumber Lemongrass and Blackberry Ginger Recipes

by Denise Woodward & Laudalino Ferreira on June 25, 2012

in All Recipes, Chez Us Cooks, Drinks, Fruit, Vegetables

There’s something rustic and romantic about a cool pitcher of water adorning a summer picnic table and the ice cubes rattling about the glass jug.  There is also something relaxing about drinking those fruit and vegetable flavored waters on a spa visit that seems so…luxurious.  Thanks to Denise, now I can have both, at home. -Maggie

During the cold winter months, I drink tons of hot tea.   After my two cups of coffee that I allow myself during the morning, I switch over to grassy green teas or calming herbal blends.  It’s guaranteed if you walk into my office on a blistery day there will be a cup of tea sitting on my desk.

Now that things are warming up, however, I am searching for alternatives to replace that misty hot cup.   We are not soda drinkers, we feel that there is just too much sugar involved.   And we normally don’t keep juice around the house, unless we are squeezing it ourselves.   So, I have been playing with the elixir of life:  water.

Any given day the past month, if you walked into our house, you would have seen a big pitcher of sparkling water on the counter.   A big pitcher of flavored  sparkling water, that is.   It has been great fun playing with different fruits, vegetables and even herbs to create just the right flavor combination.   Some of them work perfectly, and some don’t.   For instance, strawberries, despite what you might envision, are not my favorite floating around a pitcher of water.

Making your own flavored waters at home is quick and easy.  An added bonus:  a big glass of flavored water is much healthier, than say a soda, since I don’t mix in any added sugars or artificial flavorings.

It’s also an ideal kitchen project to get the kids involved.   They will love experimenting with different flavors so much that they will want to guzzle down the finished product.  I tested this theory when we had friends over with the little ones while I was trying different flavors.   I told them mint is what is used for making gum and before I knew it they were drinking glass after glass of minty water.

I’ve definitely decided on a few of my own favorite flavor combinations. Cucumber with lemongrass – a big glass of it makes me feel like I just walked out of the spa.  Blackberries with lemon and ginger –  slightly sweet and zingy, a great pick-me-up on a hot day.   Other favorites:   watermelon and rosemary, orange and thyme, and cucumber and mint.

Cucumber Lemongrass Water

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 4 cups of water
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Wash the cucumber.   Using a vegetable peeler remove some of the waxy peel from the cucumber.   Proceed to peel the cucumber into ribbons using the vegetable peeler.   Put the ribbons into the pitcher.
  2. Using your hands, peel away the rough outer edge of the lemongrass.   Cut the lemongrass in half, lengthwise.   Place the lemongrass onto a cutting board.   Using a rolling pin, gently smash the lemongrass.   Add to the pitcher of ice and cucumber ribbons.
  3. Fill with water.  Give a stir.   Let chill in the fridge at least an hour.
  4. Fill about 1/4 of the pitcher with ice, stir, and enjoy.

 

Blackberry Lemon Ginger Water

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pint blackberries, washed
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 1 small lemon
  • 4 cups of water
  • ice

Directions:

  1. Pour the blackberries into a pitcher.
  2. Wash the knob of ginger, then slice into thin slices, leaving the peel on.
  3. Slice the lemon into thin slices.   Put the ginger and lemon into the pitcher of blackberries.   Fill with water.
  4. Using the back of a wooden spoon gently smash some of the blackberries while stirring the water.
  5. Let sit in the fridge at least an hour.
  6. Fill with some ice, stir and enjoy.

All photos styled and taken by Denise Woodward.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans.  We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can  order today.

Denise Woodward & Laudalino Ferreira

Denise is a foodie who’s first thought each morning is about what she’ll be cooking that day. Laudalino is not a foodie; he’s an eater and aspiring home chef. They met when he was a starving climber and bachelor who longed for his mother’s good Portuguese cooking. She cooked, he ate and nine years later, he still prefers her food to any restaurant fare. Follow their culinary capers in their 20-square-foot urban kitchen at their blog, Chez Us.

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  • http://twitter.com/superfinefeline Karen W

    Thanks for sharing these recipes. Blackberry Ginger Water sounds divine. :)

    • Denise

      Karen, it is beyond divine.  We are really loving these flavor combinations.  Another one that is refreshing is orange and rosemary.  ~ Denise

  • http://www.misadventureswithandi.com Andi Fisher

    I drink this kind of water all the time in hotels but never think of making it at home!

    • Denise

      Andi, make it at home, it will be a treat.  The cucumber water makes you feel like you are at the spa all day.  ~ Denise

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    I do this with bubble water all the time. Now I’m going to throw all that pretty fruit into flat water – so pretty for a party! xox

    • Denise

      Maggie, sometimes I use bubbles instead, but it is a great way to brighten up flat water.  Have been serving it at dinner parties;  people love it!!  Thinking of trying a couple new ones using melons!  

  • http://wearenotmartha.com/ Sues

    I love the idea of flavored water since I’m always trying to drink more H2O, but never seem to succeed. I want to try both of these!

    • Denise

      Sues, I am surprised at how many pitchers we drink every day.  When it is half full, I just add more ice and water.  So refreshing … ~ Denise

  • Anonymous

    I’m including my cucumber-lemongrass martini in my upcoming e-book…

    • Denise

      Jackie, that sounds refreshing as well as more fun then water.  Cannot wait to try it out.  ~ Denise

  • http://glitterfringesunshine.wordpress.com/ Laura

    Definitely going to try the blackberry ginger – beautiful!   

    • Denise

      Laura, I made a new flavor the other day, slivers of ginger mixed with some peach slices.  Just muddle the peaches up a little.  Very good. 

  • http://twitter.com/ShutUpNCook Shut Up & Cook

    I always feel embarrassingly self-righteous when I drink lemongrass tea…as though it someone is doing something great for me just be holding the cup. The addition of an iced version would be most welcome for summer months! 

  • Denise

    You are going to love it.  At the end of the day, you will feel like you just walked out of the spa.  Serve a pitcher during your next dinner party, too.

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  • Laura Shaffer

    Lovely. What a great enticement to stay well-hydrated. I like doing cucumber + mint. I typically serve it out of a dispenser with a spout, so what ends up in your cup is always just flavored water (no chunks). Mixing up the mint with the ice prior to adding water serves to “muddle” it a bit and brings out the flavor.

    (I think you meant a “blustery” rather than a “blistery” day, right?)

  • Denise

    Laura, have not tried the cucumber with mint, but am thinking that would be perfect for this hot afternoon.  A very clean taste.  Thanks for the recommendation.

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