Pitcher Perfect Patio Drinks

Summer refreshment is easy when you keep a pitcher or two of naturally flavored water in the fridge. I don’t care much for the pre-flavored waters in the stores, even the ones using “natural” flavors, so I started experimenting on my own. Here are a few of my favorite combinations.

Strawberry/Basil: Hull and slice a few strawberries with a few torn basil leaves. This works great with frozen berries as well.

slicingLemon/Cucumber: Thinly sliced lemons and cucumbers (English or traditional variety) make for a bright, balanced beverage with the alkalinity your body craves.

Orange/Lemon/Lime: This citrus explosion looks beautiful on a picnic table. This is a nice alternative to store-bought citrus juices that can be too strong or acidic for some people to tolerate. Give your fruit an extra squeeze for added benefit and flavor and play with the proportions until you find the right taste for your palate.

Cucumber/Lemon/Thyme: Adding a sprig or two of thyme gives this a slight savory hint. Adjust the cucumber to your liking. It’s all about balance of flavors.

Blackberry/Lavender: Slightly mash the blackberries and add a sprig or two of lavender (an acquired taste for some folks). Make sure you enjoy this one in a beautiful glass on a back porch at mid-day!

Remember, you’ll want to thoroughly wash your fruits, and make sure your herbs are not sprayed with anything you should not be ingesting. This is a great reason to keep an herb pot on your porch. Basil, thyme and lavender are so easy to grow in patio pots.

waterpitcherPack a lunch in the morning, and enjoy flavored water by lunchtime just by freezing a few inches of fruit and water in your portable bottle, filling it up, and letting it sit out until it’s just right.

Many of these combinations work great with a light black or green tea too, and all of the combinations are adjustable to individual tastes.

If you plan to keep longer than a day or so, a covered pitcher is a good idea. But I suggest making a fresh batch daily!

Cheers to summertime!

Lisa Sands

Photos by Karin McKenna, Karin McKenna Photography