Infused Water Makes Delightful Virgin Cocktails

(NC)—A popular summer staple in Latin cuisine is the drink, aguas frescas, or infused water. These calorie-free homemade flavoured waters are not only fast and easy to prepare, but delicious and refreshing.  Create your own aguas frescas with these starter tips:  

•    Combinations count. Be creative. Use any combination of fruits, veggies, herbs, flowers or roots.  Try cucumber/melon, blueberry/raspberry or lemongrass/honey. Note: If your combination doesn’t have concentrated fructose, it is recommended to use a sweetener such as honey, agave nectar, or a sweetener alternative. Of course, a dry un-sweetened finish may be your desired result.

•    Select your water. Water quality affects the taste of any beverage. Known for its untouched state and unique mineral profile including silica, which is believed to give it a signature smooth taste and clean finish, a pure artesian water, such as Fiji Water, is ideal for enhancing the flavour and health benefits of your recipe.

•    Begin infusing. After mashing or “muddling” your ingredients together, begin the decoction (meaning “to cook”) or steeping in boiling water. Cover and let stand for several hours. Monitor some herbs after 10 minutes to ensure their flavour doesn’t overpower. The natural healing qualities of the sun also make the sun a popular method of infusing. 

•    A smooth finish. Use a mesh strainer to remove all solids from the liquid. Chill and serve your aguas frescas – a flavoured artesian beverage.