For how long should I infuse the water?
Each water recipe is different, but a good rule of thumb is to infuse herbs and fruits for at least 4 hours to achieve the most potent flavor and water color. I often infuse waters overnight in the fridge. If you require a faster infusion, infuse your recipe at room temperature then serve the infusion over ice.
You can also infuse for 24 hours, then remove the ingredients and store the remaining water in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Taking the fruit and herbs out of the water will prevent the fruit from decomposing in the water and creating floaters.
How long do infused waters last?
Drink your refrigerated infused waters within 3-4 days of infusing, with same day or next day drinking being optimal. Drink your un-refrigerated infused waters the same day as infusing. Remember that, unlike commercial fruit juices that you buy in the store, infused waters are not pasteurized or filled with preservatives. Infused waters are meant to be consumed fresh, just like the very fruits you are putting into them.
If you plan on drinking your water over the course of several days, a good practice is to strain all fruit and herbs from the water after 12-24 hours of infusing, leaving just the flavored water. Otherwise, if you leave the fruit in your water for more than 24 hours, it may disintegrate and create undesirable flavors.
Generally, citrus fruits such as lemons will last longer in your infused water than fleshy fruits such as honeydew. In fact, lemon and lime are natural preservatives and can help to keep an infused water looking and tasting fresh. Do beware of citrus rinds, however, as they can create bitter flavors after just a few hours. My favorite trick is cut the rinds off of citrus before infusing.
How many times can you re-use the fruit in an infused water?
Each time you re-use the fruit in your infused water, you are going to lose flavor. The big trick is to add more water to your container when the water is half way down. That way, you mix the flavorful water with the new water. Fruits with strong flavors, such as lemon, pineapple, and orange, are best for multiple infusions. Berries, melons, and fleshy fruits are not ideal because they decompose quickly.
Why does my infused water taste bitter?
Your infused water likely tastes bitter because of rinds found on citrus fruits. To avoid this bitter flavor, simply cut the rind off with a knife before infusing. Or, do not infuse fruits with rinds for over 4 hours. Trust me, if you infuse lemon slices with rinds for 3 days, your water will be too bitter to even sip!
Do I need to worry about the fruit going bad or spoiling?
Not if you keep your infused waters refrigerated. Cold temperatures keep fruit – and all foods – fresh. Don’t forget to use your own eyeballs and nose. If your infused water looks or smells weird after a few days, do not drink it. Pretty easy!
Should I use hot or cold water?
Some fruit infusion products out there say to pour boiling water over your fruit. While this method may produce fast and furious results, it’s better to use cold or room temperature water. Hot water destroys the fragile enzymes and vitamins in fruit that are beneficial to your health. And hot water will also make you fruit fall apart and look a lot less pretty. So, be sure to use cold or room temperature water!
How can I get my water to infuse faster?
Fruits will release their flavor and color faster if left to sit at room temperature because the fruit is, in essence, spoiling faster. If you are in a pinch, you can infuse your ingredients at room temperature for an hour, then immediately put the infusion in the refrigerator. You should not drink fruit infused water that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 4-5 hours because it will become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria (even if you cannot see it). Refrigeration is key!
Do I need to use distilled water?
Nah, but you should use filtered water. I live in an old building with old pipes that make our tap water taste terrible. For both flavor and health reasons, I use a Zero Water Pitcher to filter water for all of my infused water recipes. Under-the-sink filtration systems are also great.
Can I use dried fruits or frozen fruits in my waters?
Frozen fruits can be used, though they do not release as much juice and often fall apart into tiny pieces in your water. Do not use dried fruit; you simply won’t get very good results or flavor.
Is it important to use organic fruit and herbs?
Yes! Using organic produce is especially important if you are infusing fruits with the rind on. Otherwise, you could potentially be drinking pesticides – gross! If you don’t have access to organic produce, simply cut off the rinds and skins of your fruits. If cutting off the rind is not possible, rinse well and use a soft Fruit and Vegetable Brush or rinse with a vinegar water solution to remove pesticides.
What is the best container for infusing water?
If you are experimenting with a new recipe, use a glass Ball jar so that you can make the most variations of a recipe. Infused water pitchers are ideal if you want to make a big batch of infused water to keep for a few days in your fridge. Pitchers are also lovely for serving infused water to guests or at parties.
Are there any nutritional benefits to drinking infused waters?
Absolutely! Nutrients leak out of the fruit directly into the water. Some nutritionists estimate that you get as much as 20% of the vitamin content of freshly squeezed fruit juice, all without he extra calories or fructose. In addition, fruits are naturally rich in antioxidants, so you’ll also be consuming a variety of naturally occurring antioxidants when you drink infused water. Basically, it’s like making your own “vitamin water” but without the cost or hidden ingredients. Teas such as green tea or chamomile are also antioxidant-rich, so adding tea to your recipes just adds to the goodness.
Can I eat the fruit after it has been infused?
Yes, you can eat the infused fruit, but you’ll find that it is not nearly as flavorful or colorful as fresh fruit. This is because infused fruits’ juices leak into the water, which is what makes your infused waters taste so good. Sometimes I will eat infused strawberries because they are still a little sweet. Most fruits, however, become rather bland after infusing.
What makes you such an expert on infused waters?
Nothing except years of experience! I have been creating and drinking infused waters since I was a young girl thanks to my health-conscious mom. I live in Portland, OR, where I have the privilege to shop at an all-organic grocery store and one of the best farmer’s markets in the country. I make a new infused water every other day. This website only shows the best infused waters – believe me when I say there were plenty of duds!
Are the Amazon links on your site affiliate links?
Yes, they are. That just means that if you click on a link from my site that leads to Amazon and then you buy something, I will receive a tiny commission from that purchase. I did not create this site with the intention of making money, but a little extra cash for a “fruit fund” never hurts. Thanks for your support and understanding