I know, I know, this is the wine country. The last thing anyone around here wants to do is to rethink their drink. But maybe some of you are looking for a change or some ideas to brighten up your daily beverage.
I drink water all day long, every day. I’m a professional baker, and working in a hot commercial kitchen all day saps me of my energy. Water is my fuel.
Water delivers many health benefits. It helps maintain your body’s pH and temperature.
I usually refill my water bottle at least six times a day. Most days I stick to plain filtered water, but sometimes I want something a little different to make me smile every time I take a sip. I am talking about spa water—that awesome, refreshing water that you have surely enjoyed whenever you have treated yourself to a spa day to relax and rejuvenate.
Remember? You couldn’t get enough of that spa water. Maybe it had some cucumbers or citrus in it. Maybe some fresh mint, too. The lively flavors kept you coming back for more.
Shouldn’t you feel that special every day? I think so, and you will if you start making your own spa water at home.
I received a really cool water bottle as a gift from my husband a couple of years ago. It has a little perforated plastic chamber so I can add fresh fruit, citrus slices or herbs to the water without everything floating around in the bottle.
I usually place slices of orange, lemon and lime in my water. I just keep topping up the water until the flavor becomes too bitter for my taste, which is usually after about three days.
I love this bottle. I take it with me to the farmers’ market and to my commercial kitchen when I want to have a fun drink day. It definitely starts a lot of conversations. It makes me so happy to have my own little portable spa-water maker.
Every year I look forward to the “Rethink your Drink” event at the Napa Farmers’ Market. This year’s date is Tuesday, July 18. As I do every year, I plan to sneak away from my booth and check out all the different spa waters people bring. Once I taste all of them, I vote for my favorite. The highest vote getter will be the featured drink at the National Food Day celebration at the farmers’ market at the end of October.
It is so fun to see the creative spa waters that other people dream up. Here are just a few possible additions:
— Strawberry and basil
— Cucumber, mint and lime
— Lemon and ginger
— Jalapeno and cucumber
— Blueberry, orange and lemon
— Rosemary and lemon
— Watermelon and mint
— Orange, lemon and cilantro
— Pomegranate and lime
One important rule: always wash fresh produce and herbs before adding it to the water. Then keep your spa water refrigerated to prevent spoilage.
Here is my favorite spa-water recipe. I keep a jug of this in my fridge.
Cucumber, Lemon and Mint Spa Water
1 medium cucumber
2 small lemons
About 10 fresh mint leaves
3 quarts filtered water
Wash the cucumber, lemons and mint. Slice or cube the cucumber. Slice the lemons, discarding the ends. Crush the mint with your hands to release its fragrance. Put the cucumber, lemons and mint in a pitcher nad add the water. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to infuse.
You can top off the water as needed, until the flavor diminishes and the citrus becomes bitter.
Makes 3 quarts
Chef Demo: Chef Karen Schuppert will demonstrate “zoodles”—zucchini noodles with basil mint pesto—at the Napa Farmers’ Market on Saturday, July 15, at 11 a.m. The demonstration is free and a recipe will be provided.
Rethink Your Drink: The “Rethink Your Drink” kickoff celebration takes place Tuesday, July 18, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Napa Farmers’ Market, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. Hosted by the Healthy Bodies Coalition, the celebration will include a spinning prize wheel with take-home giveaways, a hydration station, story time for children, contests and ideas for replacing sugary drinks with more healthful and affordable beverages such as water. Representatives from the Women Infants and Children program (WIC) will provide vouchers for healthy foods to eligible families.
Also, from 8 a.m. to noon, there will be a spa-water recipe challenge. Taste the entries and vote for your favorite. Join the market in this effort to educate the community about alternatives to sugary beverages.