Fancy Water

By Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge

I had the pleasure of staying at The Alexander, a boutique hotel in Indianapolis, while speaking at an Indiana Hospital Association Conference. The place was so cool with amazing art. My favorite was an 11-foot by 8-foot sculpture paying tribute to local hero and hair-care entrepreneur C.J. Walker. It is made entirely of haircombs.

The property’s mixology lounge Plat 99 had bright-colored glassworks hanging above like hot air balloons overhead. Oh, and waiters serve truffle popcorn with the lounge’s fabulous cocktails. Enough said.

But what I was really inspired by was the water display. Each day the hotel featured a new fruit water — a water cooler decorated with fruit, which seeped into the water, making a beautiful mélange of flavors. But the water itself was a true work of art.  

Perhaps I was so inspired because I’m trying for 64 ounces of water every day. This is hard. Getting my morning coffee is easy. But somehow drinking water slips from my to-do list.

On the day that I checked out, there was a tour de force — a swirly design of pineapples, blood oranges, and blackberries. There were mango blends and then there was an almost rainbow of melon with honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon. To me, it was better than juice. It wasn’t too sweet and it wasn’t blah like water.

My doctor recommended stashing water in every place I go and sipping wherever I am. He wanted me to put water bottles in my purse, in my car, next to my bed, near the television, and by the television. These are all good suggestions and I intend to follow that advice.

But when I saw that water could be a true art form, I thought about how to make some fun combinations for myself. I loaded up on ripe fruit and started to plan some good concoctions. There are plenty of ideas online about which fruits and herbs pair nicely together.

Allrecipes has lots of advice about how to go about making fruit-infused water.

There are lots of tips like avoiding waterlogged melon and strawberries by not letting them sit for more than a few hours. However, citrus and whole berries hold up for several hours. Also, some flavors, such as citrus, melons, and mint, infuse almost immediately. Others, like apples, cinnamon, gingerroot, and rosemary, need to sit overnight in the fridge.  If you leave the peel on citrus, it can make the water taste sour after 4 hours. Water can be kept for a few days if you strain out the fruit after 24 hours.

It was a reminder to make this process of better health beautiful and kind of fun. Drinking water doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be delicious, colorful, and absolutely creative.

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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