My husband Lulu and I recently stayed in a very nice hotel that served cucumber water. The drink was so refreshing I recreated it as soon as I came home. I added a few twists with chia seeds and some basil leaves.
The beauty is that you can prepare a lot of flavored water in advance of any type of party. You can use the combination of herbs, citrus, seeds and even berries you prefer. I’ve had a berry water with raspberries and blueberries that was absolutely wonderful. It’s so easy to make, you have no excuse for buying flavored water that’s probably filled with indescribable preservatives and additives.
Servings: 12 servings
3 quarts cold water (see tips)
3 Persian cucumbers (or 1 medium cucumber), to taste
5 tablespoons basil seeds (see tips)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
For the cucumber: Trim the ends of the cucumber(s). Peel 2-3 strips around the vegetable(s). If using the Persian ones, cut into quarters lengthwise, then slice in half crosswise. Otherwise cut the large one into thin wedges. Place in a large pitcher with the basil leaves, cover with water and let steep in the refrigerator for about 6 hours for optimum results.
For the basil seeds: Wash the basil seeds through a large strainer under running water. Place the seeds in a pitcher. Add the cold water. Let stand until the seeds gain in volume, which will take 5 minutes (or slightly more).
Discard the soaked basil leaves. To the same pitcher, add the basil seeds. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Stir well.
Serve this chilled.
You can find basil seeds in any Asian supermarkets or use chia seeds instead, which can be found in stores such as Whole Foods or in healh food stores.
Did you know? Cucumbers are loaded with vitamin C. Some people peel cucumbers entirely but the skin is where the nutrients are located so next time you prepare a cucumber salad, remember to only peel 2-3 strips around the vegetable.
Always start with cold, fresh, filtered water to avoid an off taste because of the chlorine in regular water.