Now that's a tall glass of water!

by Don Bingham

For some reason, I have never been a big water drinker! I know lots of good reasons why I should be, and I’ve listed a few of them in this article for those of us who need this reminder. 

(Mike Kemp photo)

For this reason, I have enjoyed the delight of flavored waters. 

Before we get into the recipes for the good stuff, let’s remind ourselves of a few of the positives of water drinking:

1. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids.

2. Water can help control calories.

3. Water helps energize muscles.

4. Water helps keep skin looking good.

5. Water helps your kidneys.

6. Water helps maintain normal digestive functions.

Rachel Gorman in Eating Well magazine reports staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you’re well hydrated, you can think through a problem more easily. Water has been listed as a valuable source to boost brain power!

Besides these obvious health advantages of drinking water, there are some fun aspects of making this a grand experience during these warm summer days. A little flavor seems to make water far more appealing. To enhance the flavor of water with natural products is always the best way to go.

Add a slice of your favorite citrus, such as lemon, lime, orange or all three, to a tall glass of ice water.

Fresh mint is always a great addition to a glass of ice water.

Combine lemon slices with fresh herbs.

Cucumbers are great in water, too!

If you want a more intense flavor to your glass of water, squeeze the citrus and/or twist before you add them to your glass.

Adding fruit to your glass is always a nice addition — watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple or kiwi. Here are a few recipes to try!

Cucumber-Herbal Water

5 cups water

10 thin slices of cucumber

2 lemon slices

2 sprigs of fresh mint

3 sprigs of rosemary

Put water in pitcher and add lemon slices and cucumber slices. Crush mint and rosemary and add to other ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

Cucumber-Melon Water 

1 large cucumber, sliced 

1 honeydew melon, cubed

1/4 cantaloupe, cubed

1 half-gallon water

Place cucumber and melons in a glass pitcher and add water. Refrigerate for two hours, then set with melon balls skewered on a swizzle stick.

Frozen Fruit Water

2 cups frozen apple chunks, grapes or berries

1 half-gallon water

Add frozen fruit to a pitcher; pour water over fruit and let sit at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 

Serve the fruit flavored water in glasses with ice cubes.

Fruit Water*

1 apple, lemon, orange and pear

4 large strawberries

Handful of raspberries

Handful of mint leaves

1 half-gallon of water

Cut large slices or thin wedges of each fruit; place them in a large glass pitcher and add cold water. 

Refrigerate two hours and serve over ice in tall glasses.

*my favorite