How To: Water Infusions + a Giveaway

I always laugh at the meme “the human body is 60% water, so we’re really just cucumbers with anxiety”, because it’s true, and I also happen to love cucumbers. But what does it mean to be an organism that relies so heavily on water?

Basically, if we don’t stay hydrated, we shrivel up, like a cucumber would, and this is most evident in the face and hands. Now on the late side of my mid-twenties, I often notice people a decade older than me and with not a wrinkle in sight, while I have a nice clean frown line above my right brow (yes, I raise it a little too often). They all attribute their smooth skin to near-obsessive water drinking. As someone who struggles to lift their hands from their keyboard and mouse during the day, the idea of getting up to refill my glass of water to ensure I drink enough is a seemingly insurmountable task.

So how to circumvent this obsessive-working problem? Carafes of infused water. In the morning or evening before, I fill a carafe or large bottle with Mountain Falls water and whatever fruits and herbs I can get my wrinkly paws on.

Infusions are not only a heck of a lot prettier than plain water (and yes, I’ve sunk to petty tactics like aesthetics), but the fruits and herbs you choose may actually have additional health benefits for you too. It’s a great way to add flavour without the downside of sweeteners or sugar in normal cooldrinks and a wonderful way to use any stray, seasonal fruits you may have in your fridge.

So how to begin?

1. Make sure you use good quality water

To start with, your foundation is the most important part. We recently discovered that Mountain Falls does bulk water home delivery, and we’re officially hooked. Not all bottled water is the same. This becomes apparent once you have read the label. Once you read theirs, you will discover that they have the “best quality” natural mineral water.

Mountain Falls is bottled at source at the foot of the Klein River mountain range in the Overberg from an underground aquifer. Their water offers a number of unique elements and benefits highlighted on their label: it has a perfectly balanced pH7 and its TDS (total dissolved solids) is 350mg/l, well above the minimum global requirement to be classified as a Mineral Water. In addition, it has a uniquely high source of calcium and magnesium, both essential elements to human health.

Long story short, we’re off to a good start!

2. Flavours

As with all our favourite recipes, we find the more simple the combinations, the better the outcome. We’ve listed a few below, but it’s worth Googling the health benefits you’re after or fruits and herbs which may help a specific concern of yours.

Should you want to detox, a classic combination of lemon and mint is a tasty solution. The sweetness and sour of the lemons create a great flavour pairing while also providing lots of Vitamin C and the mint adds a refreshing taste. Lemon water is a detox go-to, and is an easy way to get into the habit of infusions.

Here are a few pairings:

  • Apple pairs well with: cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, cranberry, currant, ginger, mango, maple, rosemary
  • Apricot pairs well with: almond, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, honey, orange, peach, vanilla, plum
  • Banana pairs well with: cherry, cinnamon, coffee, ginger, honey, mango, pawpaw
  • Blackberry pairs well with: apricot, black pepper, cinnamon, citrus, lemon, other berries, peach, plum
  • Blueberry pairs well with: lemon verbena, other berries, cardamom, mango, lemon, ginger, fig, lavender, other citrus
  • Cherry pairs well with: apricot, black pepper, citrus, nectarine, peach, plum, vanilla
  • Coconut pairs well with: banana, citrus, lemongrass, pineapple, other tropical fruits
  • Cranberry pairs well with: apple, cinnamon, citrus, mango, mint, pear
  • Grape pairs well with: citrus, ginger, raisin
  • Grapefruit pairs well with: basil, black pepper, citrus, mint, rosemary, thyme, tropical fruit, vanilla
  • Lemon pairs well with: apricot, berries, black pepper, cardamom, cherry, citrus, ginger, nectarine, peach, plum, prickly pear, tropical fruit
  • Lime pairs well with: apple, berries, cherry, ginger, papaya, plum, strawberry, tropical fruit
  • Melon pairs well with: berries, citrus, lemongrass, lemon verbena
  • Orange pairs well with: almonds, basil, berries, cherry, cinnamon, coffee, cranberry, fig, ginger, grape, mint, nutmeg, persimmon, pineapple, vanilla
  • Pear pairs well with: almond, apple, cinnamon, citrus, ginger, vanilla
  • Pineapple pairs well with: basil, coconut, rosemary, tropical fruit
  • Pomegranate pairs well with: apple, citrus, cucumber, mint, tropical fruit
  • Raspberry pairs well with: apricot, cinnamon, citrus, ginger, lemon, nectarine, other berries, peach, plum, rhubarb, thyme, vanilla
  • Strawberry pairs well with: apple, black pepper, citrus, coriander, mint, rhubarb, vanilla

3. Brewing

If you’re looking for a little more flavour than a standard infusion, you could take some inspiration from ice tea.
Gently simmer your water and selected ingredients in a pot over a stove for a few minutes, as if you were making tea the old-fashioned way.

Once you’ve achieved the intensity of flavour you’re after, let the infusion cool completely before you pour it into your carafe or water bottle. This method requires a little more preparation, but the possibility of drawing out more subtle flavours, like cinnamon, makes it worth the extra effort.

4. As cold as can be

Naturally, you want your infusion to be as cold as Queen Elsa’s ice castle, but still liquid. There are benefits to drinking water at room temperature though. The gist of it is to drink cold water to lose weight and cool down, and to drink room temperature water for digestion, detox, and pain relief – which in our opinion, all actually go hand in hand. The key, we think, is to just stay as hydrated as possible.

To help you on your way this Summer, we’ve got an incredible Mountain Falls giveaway taking place on Instagram (like really incredible). Essentially, we’ll be giving 10 people a 3-month bulk water subscription (the total prize is worth over R13500). Plus, UCOOK will be giving away a few samples in their boxes next week too!

Recipes

Ingredients

Mint and Blueberry

  • 750ml Mountain Falls Still Water
  • 80g Fresh Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint

Grapefruit and Cucumber

  • 750ml Mountain Falls Still Water
  • 1 Large Grapefruit, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 Cucumber, ribboned

Kiwi and Basil

  • 750ml Mountain Falls Still Water
  • 2 Kiwi Fruits, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves

Rooibos, Apple and Lemon

  • 750ml Mountain Falls Still Water
  • 3 Rooibos teabags, soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Large Apple halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Lemon, cut into rounds
Instructions

Mint and Blueberry

  1. Add half the blueberries, along with all the mint and water to a large carafe of water.
  2. In a small jar muddle the remaining blueberries and add to the carafe.
  3. Chill until serving.
  4. Enjoy!

Grapefruit and Cucumber

  1. Add all ingredients to a large carafe
  2. Muddle ingredients to allow the flavours to spread.
  3. Chill until serving.
  4. Enjoy!

Kiwi and Basil

  1. Add all ingredients to a large carafe
  2. Muddle ingredients to allow the flavours to spread.
  3. Chill until serving.
  4. Enjoy!

Rooibos, Apple and Lemon

  1. Start by brewing your rooibos tea bags. Using 1/2cup boiling water steep the 3 rooibos teabags and let cool. After 5min you can add this to the refrigerator to speed up the process.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a large carafe.
  3. Once your tea is completely cooled, remove the tea bags and add to the carafe.
  4. Chill completely before serving.
  5. Enjoy!