Drinking plenty of water is important for good health, but it gets a little monotonous. Fruit juices are a tasty alternative, but they're high in sugar and calories and can get costly. Fruit-infused water is a perfect compromise, offering healthy servings of flavorful beverages. Lemon-infused water is easy to make, turning out like a light, refreshing lemonade. It's also incredibly versatile, so experiment with the addition of other fruits and herbs to concoct an entire menu of infused waters to enjoy.
Wash your lemons in the sink under cold running water. Scrub the entire surface area with a produce brush to remove any dirt, bacteria or pesticide residue.
Slice one lemon per quart of water thinly with a sharp, nonserrated kitchen knife. Keep the slices about 1/2-inch thick or less. Knock out the seeds with the tip of your knife and discard them.
Fill a pitcher or large mason jar with the water you're infusing. Use distilled water for the purest flavored results. Drop the lemon slices into the water.
Add complementary ingredients, if desired. Many other fruits work well, such as orange, lime, kiwi, cherry and berries. Cucumber is another possible inclusion. Put in a few leaves or sprigs of a complementary fresh herb too for more depth of flavor; mint, lavender, basil and sage are suitable options. Remember to first wash anything you use.
Give everything a light stir and close the pitcher or mason jar. Put the water into the refrigerator for at least two to four hours. The longer it sits, the more potent the infused flavor becomes.
Stir the ingredients in the water gently at the end of steeping, and then remove them all with a strainer. The lemon-infused water is ready to serve.
You can also make lemon-infused sparkling water. Infuse half as much seltzer or sparkling water in the same manner as still water, and then add the second half of the liquid right before serving to ensure adequate carbonation.
Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, lifestyle, and travel writer. He spent 10 years working front- and back-of-house in a few casual and upscale restaurants, adding professional experience to his love of eating and cooking. He lives with his family in Orlando, Florida. His stories on food and beverage topics have appeared in numerous print and web publications, including Visit Florida, Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and others.