Staying hydrated and refreshed in the midst of the August heat can be a chore. While an ice cold soda may quench your thirst initially, it’s ultimately dehydrating and chock full of sugar. Meanwhile, drinking enough water to replenish oneself (especially when you spend a lot of time outside like we do!) can be daunting. This month we’ll give you some ideas for healthy, hydrating, and refreshing options straight from your garden.
You can make an impressively flavorful refreshment by letting odds and ends from your garden soak in a pitcher. Just add a few sprigs of herbs to a pitcher, muddle the leaves gently, add fruit or berries if you’d like, top with water and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or for at least 5 hours).
Some tried and true combinations include:
Cucumber, mint, & lemon
Strawberry & basil
Raspberry & lime
Watermelon & mint
Peach & lemon verbena
Blackberry & sage
Cantaloupe & ginger
This is a great use of lesser loved herbs, too! Consider using mountain mint, tarragon, fennel, stevia, anise hyssop, borage, the list goes on and on!
While these keep in the fridge for about a week, it’s a good idea to strain out the fruit and herbs after a day or two.
If you’re craving something with a bit more flavor, you might try brewing a batch of Sun Tea. All you’ll need is a large, clear glass jar, a handful of tea bags (Black tea is classic, but any kind will do), water, and a sunny spot.
Sun tea has an especially smooth taste as the lower temperature and slow infusion keeps the tea leaves from releasing the bitter flavors that often accompany over-steeped hot tea. And don’t worry - you don’t even have to think about turning on the stove!
Add about 4 tea bags for every two quarts of water. Set the jar in the sun for 2-3 hours or until the tea is to your taste, and add a touch of honey, mint, or lemon for some extra sweetness or flavor.