Infused Waters: 50 Simple, Gorgeous Drinks for Ultimate Hydration and Health by Georgia Davies
My rating: 5/5 cats
i bought an infuser! to celebrate this purchase, i’m going to make august THE MONTH OF TWO CONCURRENT PROJECTS! i’m already doing a sewing one over here, but i won’t be dropping one a day because of limited free time and limited number of creatures in the book. by the same token, i won’t be doing one-a-day with this book because, while hydration is extremely important in these brutal summertime days, i’m not about to be guzzling down a full infuser of chonky water each day when i’m only actually at home for a couple of hours per. it’s not going to be like alternate side parking—i’ll post when i have content to post and maybe some days there’ll be one of each and maybe some days there’ll be none and life’s an unpredictable bastard.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN LET’S FIND OUT!
WATERMELON & MINT
i figured this would be super-refreshing; the freshness of mint, the wateriness of watermelon and LO!
so, i’m whatever the opposite of ‘grammable is. i’m still learning how to photograph this stuff, muddling through and hoping for the best.
compared to the photo in the book, mine seems to have too much stuff in it. i assume their photographer fished a bunch out WITH THEIR HANDS to make it all pretty, which i did not do. however, i DID learn one lesson: let the infuser sit for a bit after removing it from the fridge, or the condensation will INSTANTLY accumulate and make the glass all foggy, hiding yer fruit.
i didn’t strain it, because then we’d be looking at a glass of slightly pink-tinged water and that’s not editorial.
i forgot the important detail of reporting on its FLAVOR, so thanks to corrine for reminding me. cutting-and-pasting my lame response from the comments: it was very tasty! the mint made it tingly and the watermelon made it…more watery? anyway, YES—i liked it.
i will try to do better from now on.
PINK GRAPEFRUIT & ROSEMARY
these are supposed to infuse for 2 or more hours and i have been leaving them overnight but maybe that is wrong? this one tastes strongly of grapefruit peel, which i suppose is because it’s got the zest of a whole damn grapefruit in it, and i even went to the trouble of unwaxing the grapefruit peel, per the book’s instructions.
it’s pretty bitter, and i’m not getting much in the way of rosemary, but once my mouth got over the initial impact of bitter, there followed a nicer, lighter grapefruit flavor, but the rosemary never really took a bow. book didn’t say to bruise the herb, the way you do with mint, but maybe that’s something i will try going forward.
fun fact: this looks like a seahorse gave birth in it
à votre santé!
APPLE & MINT
how you like these apples?
book says: Crisp apples are best for this infusion. Try Granny Smith for a tart, refreshing drink or Gala if you have more of a sweet tooth.
going against my sweet tooth nature (which, frankly, has never been satisfied by an APPLE), i chose the granny smith route. the resulting water was faintly appley, but the mint was the stronger of the two flavors.
my apples are probably too thick—they used some kind of alien laser technology or a mandoline to produce wafer-thin apple rounds delicately floating alongside fluffy sprigs of mint
and i have some wet apples and beached-seaweed clumps.
whatever—i’m super-hydrated so i’m gonna live forever, eating these waterlogged apples keeping all you doctors at bay. BOOM!
PINEAPPLE & CUCUMBER
so far, this one is both the tastiest AND the prettiest
my pineapple was perfectly ripe, my cucumber was perfectly seedless and it’s like 2020 never happened.
i had the alcoholic version of this infusion at a place this evening, called THE SKINNY DIPPER, which was cucumber infused tequila, fresh pineapple, and fresh cucumber, and now my two august review projects have merged:
the three citruses were supposed to be pink grapefruit, orange, and lemon, but i swapped out the oranges for some minneola tangelos because they were so plump and perfect (like meeee).
this is the only one so far that actually incorporates some of the juice of the fruits along with their drowned bodies, so the flavor was much more intense and deliciously refreshing. however, i only got to drink the glass pictured here because there was a tragedy.
shortly after this picture was taken, i would gently CLONK into the infuser with a glass carafe of iced coffee in order to make room for my lemon posset, shattering the infuser and causing a three citrus flood in my fridge and on the floor. this was only a few hours after i had knocked an open container of coffee grounds onto the floor in the process of making that iced coffee. so, a red letter day for karen t. brissette. however—silver lining—i have finally answered the age-old question of which is stronger: a dollar store carafe or a significantly more expensive infuser.
silver lining #2: my fridge and floor are now very clean and summery-smelling.
long story short—i have ordered a new infuser.
FENNEL & CLEMENTINE
welcome to my home, new infuser! watch your back; the carafes here are dicks…
like its ill-fated predecessor, this infusion also calls for the juice of one clementine to be blended in with the water.
however, it wasn’t enough juice to make the water pretty, so i tossed some fennel fronds into the glass to make the photo more dramatic. naturally, i forgot to wash these fronds, so i got to drink a nice glass of orangey licorice water with dirty trees in it. i’m already feeling the health benefits.
BASIL, PEAR & BLACK PEPPER
it’s hard to tell here, but i used THREE different kinds of pears, including a red one, to make this infusion more VISUALLY DYNAMIC or whatever. the infusion, once stripped of its parts, is decidedly less visually dynamic.
however, after the first glass has been consumed, you get to the richer part of the infusion; where all the mulchy bits have been soaking up the freshly-smithereened peppercorns, intensifying the flavor of the water, and it’s phenomenal.
it’s thick and peppery-peary with only a hint of basil, but it feels restorative and fresh.
because i took a little break from project-ing, i’m going to keep this one open for a bit longer and try some other summery flavors and THEN once the temperature drops, i will do some of the hot infusions! hot! infusions!
LEMON, BLUEBERRY & LAVENDER
so i guess lavender…floats? being neither a sheep nor a grandmother, this was news to me.
i poured the liquid through the strainer part of the lid rather than using the wide-pour option, but some lavender bibbits still snuck through. you guys, i had to drink them! they were in my MOUTH! and i am not, if you will recall, a freaking sheep!
ombudsman-karen has googled this because quality control standards must be maintained and it turns out that sheep don’t actually eat lavender. in fact, most animals (mammals, anyway) will avoid lavender. because it’s gross. rabbits, deer, even raccoons, who eat everydamnthing, are repelled by lavender because it smells so blucky. also listed amongst the lavender-haters are cats and mice, snakes and FLEAS! even fleas have the good sense to stay away. you know who IS attracted to lavender? freaking BIRDS! hummingbirds, american goldfinches, tufted titmice, parrots aaaand starlings. do you know about starlings? they are one of the most destructive invasive species of all time, and they have plagued america ever since some shakespeare fanboy decided to fling a bunch of them out into central park and from there they basically took over the country, spreading their wing’ed menace from coast to coast. so if you are a murrican full of hatred towards foreigners coming here and ruining everything, please redirect your asshole energy towards these monsters and rid us of these pests. just don’t use lavender to do it ‘cuz IT WON’T WORK!
also a fan of lavender is the spittlebug.
spittlebugs, people. i am drinking something a SPITTLEBUG enjoys.
so, why, you ask, did i choose to make this one? because once upon a time, i bought a sack of lavender to make PEEPS® Lavender Panna Cotta with Blackberry Sauce,
and it’s been languishing in my cupboard ever since. does lavender go bad? trick question—it is always bad. just ask nature!
anyway, the blueberry/lemon parts of this infusion were tasty, but i am not a fan of eating flowers.
TIL that sometimes blueberries float, too! does this mean they are rotten, like eggs? or does lavender also attract pennywise?
it’s not creepy at all to be stared at by a beverage.
WATERMELON & CORIANDER
i was supposed to stuff a quarter of a watermelon, rind and all, into this, but that wasn’t gonna happen in my tiny pitcher, so i chonked it instead, and it was perfectly fine and fresh-tasting, with a nice bright pop from the cilantro <— which is what we murricans call it.
this one’s pretty enough to warrant its own solo head shot
the ingredient not name-dropped in the name of the beverage is orange zest, so i once again wound up with a mouthful of fry* and i’m getting used to this strange sensation.
*which is what baby seahorses are called, inexplicably.
POMEGRANATE & GINGER
if anyone’s wondering which fruit is the biggest asshole, it’s the pomegranate, no question. it’s such a hassle extracting the whole point of a pomegranate from the termite-nest of its innards, and it’s an expensive roll of the dice to even get a good one. i got two decent ones, but it was way more work than it was worth, and after mashing those little buggers up, i only got a meager amount of pale juice, so visually, this infusion’s a total snooze
the pomegranate is just a whisper here, and maybe that’s down to my not knowing how to pick a good pomegranate from the ‘granate bin, but the ginger is nice enough, although even that is milder than i had expected. maybe i have covid and am losing my sense of taste. if, so, i apologize to the fruits and roots who died in vain for this infusion.
NUTMEG & GINGER
this is my first HOT infusion! and although my infuser is suitable for hot OR cold infusions, i decided to use my cute little teapot instead, forgetting that it wouldn’t do the best job of showing off the infusion itself. still, FOXEN!
considering that this particular infusion strongly resembles metamucil, i think i made the right choice. it’s much better as a hot drink than one you remember is sitting on your desk, gritty with nutmeg, some room-temperature-making amount of time later, although it is not bad refrigerator-cold. so, avoid the middle bed, goldilocks, and you’ll be just fine.
MIXED BERRY & CINNAMON
another cold one while the berries are still good and not too expensive (although these blueberries were a small fortune). still, one does as one must, and they were exceptionally tasty berries.
in the first glass of this, after infusing overnight, the cinnamon was more of an aroma than a taste, but it intensified the longer it sat so by the second evening, it packed more of a spicy punch. however, by then, the berries themselves looked kind of blucky and bleached of their colors. if there’s a sweet spot in there, i missed it, but it was tasty regardless.
STAR ANISE & BLACK PEPPER
this is another hot infusion, and it only calls for a cup of boiling water, so the finished product is pretty dull.
and, BOY, is it brown.
although it’s a pretty fall-shade of brown, with lots of nice earthy stuff floating in it.
and when you swirl it all up and look at its fromunda, it’s got a nice kaleidoscopic effect going on.
i’m gonna close this out FOR NOW, because this was an august project that went on and on and i’m sick of looking at it on my ‘currently-reading’ shelf. however, i’ll probably add more to it periodically, so don’t worry about my hydration! see you soon!