I Tried 4 Water “Recipes,” and They Make Staying Hydrated Refreshingly Simple

published Jun 8, 2023
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lineup of photos of four water recipes shown on outlines of iPhones
Credit: Photos: Gabrielle Hondorp; Design: Apartment Therapy

If you have a TikTok account, there’s a very good chance you’ve happened upon the WaterTok trend that’s dividing the internet. If you haven’t, it’s a corner of TikTok where people stir powders and syrups into water to create different ultra-sippable combinations. While I was fascinated by the idea of making a flavored water of the day, I wasn’t too keen on filling my pantry with items I would only use once or twice. I was determined to participate in the trend using what I already had at home.

Although I have never disliked water, I do sometimes simply forget to guzzle down the recommended amount. So as summer edges closer and the days get hotter, I decided to make the goal of staying well-quenched a little easier and give my water a makeover.

The recipes I came up with use simple ingredients that you either have in your kitchen, or can easily get at your local grocery store. They are designed to give your water a light-but-refreshing taste that you can sip on while poolside, or pack in your favorite bottle while running errands. 

Each recipe uses 32 ounces of water — a perfect fit for my beloved Stanley cup with 8 ounces of ice — and they taste great with both still and sparkling water. 

If the whole concept of water “recipes” is too high-maintenance and you prefer something a bit more hands-off, there are still some options out there. I love the sparkling water by Nixie for a fizzy option. They use USDA certified organic flavors, have BPA-free cans, and even offer caffeinated options that use infusions of green and black tea. 

If you’re a Crystal Light enthusiast looking for a new go-to, I would suggest Drip Drop hydration packets. They come in delicious flavors from pink lemonade to fruit punch, and have electrolytes and zinc to keep you hydrated and your immune system strong. Plus they are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 

Here are four natural water “recipes” I’ll be sipping on all summer long.

Credit: Gabrielle Hondorp

Triple Citrus Mint 

  • Half of a lemon
  • Half of an orange
  • Half of a lime 
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 32 ounces of water 

Squeeze the fruit halves into a large glass, then muddle mint leaves with the juice. Cover with desired amount of ice and water. 

Credit: Gabrielle Hondorp

Strawberry Basil 

  • 4 to 5 medium to large strawberries
  • 5 basil leaves 
  • 32 ounces of water 

Remove strawberry hulls and chop into bean-sized pieces. Muddle in glass with basil leaves until pulpy. Add 32 ounces of water, then ice. 

Note: If you’re using sparkling water, stir in a splash of balsamic glaze for a refreshing spritz.

Credit: Gabrielle Hondorp

Blackberry Lavender Lemon

  • 6 blackberries
  • Half of a lemon 
  • Splash of lavender simple syrup (this is easy to make at home, but if you choose to buy, I love the Monin syrup
  • 32 ounces of water

Add blackberries to the glass and muddle until pulpy. Squeeze in lemon juice and add lavender syrup to taste. Add water and desired amount of ice. 

Credit: Gabrielle Hondorp

Cilantro Cucumber Lime 

  • Half a tablespoon of cilantro, packed 
  • 6 slices of cucumber 
  • A whole lime 
  • 32 ounces of water 

Add cilantro and 3 of the cucumber slices to the glass. Muddle well, then add lime juice. Top with water and desired ice. For an extra kick, rim the glass with tajin, or add a couple slices of fresh jalapeño.