Frequently Asked Questions about Fruit Infused Water
How long should I infuse the water?
A good rule of thumb is to infuse for 1-2 hours at room temperature or in the fridge for 3-4 hours to achieve the potent flavor and watercolor. Do you like your water really fruity and tangy? You can infuse overnight or up to 12 hours!
If you infuse for 4 or more hours, though, be sure to remove the fruits and herbs from the water, then store the infused water in the fridge for up to 3 days. Removing the infused fruits from the water will prevent the fruit from decomposing in the water and potentially creating undesirable flavors.
How long do infused waters last?
Drinking the water the same day or next day is optimal, but you can drink your refrigerated infused waters within 3 days of infusing. However, you should always drink un-refrigerated infused waters the same day as infusing. Unlike commercial fruit juices that you buy in the store, infused waters are not pasteurized or filled with preservatives. Infused waters are meant to be consumed fresh, just like the very fruits you are putting into them.
Generally, citrus fruits such as lemons will last longer in your infused water than fleshy fruits such as honeydew. In fact, lemon and lime are natural preservatives and can help to keep an infused water looking and tasting fresh. Do be cautious with citrus rinds, however, as they can create bitter flavors after just a few hours. My favorite trick is to cut the rinds off of citrus before infusing.
How many times can you re-use the fruit in an infused water?
Each time you re-use the fruit in your infused water, you are going to lose flavor. The big trick is to add more water to your container when the water is half way down. That way, you mix the flavorful water with the new water. Fruits with strong flavors, such as lemon, pineapple, and orange, are best for multiple infusions. Berries, melons, and fleshy fruits are not ideal because they decompose quickly.
Why does my infused water taste bitter?
Your infused water likely tastes bitter because of rinds found on citrus fruits. To avoid this bitter flavor, simply cut the rind off with a knife before infusing. Or, do not infuse fruits with rinds for over 4 hours. Trust me, if you infuse lemon slices with rinds for 3 days, your water will be too bitter to even sip!
Do I need to worry about the fruit going bad or spoiling?
Not if you keep your infused waters refrigerated. Cold temperatures keep fruit – and all foods – fresh. Don’t forget to use your own eyeballs and nose. If your infused water looks or smells weird after a few days, do not drink it. Pretty easy!
Should I use hot or cold water?
It’s better to use cold or room temperature water. Hot water destroys the fragile enzymes and vitamins in fruit that are beneficial to your health. And hot water will also make your fruit fall apart and look a lot less pretty. So, be sure to use cold or room temperature water!
How can I get my water to infuse faster?
Fruits will release their flavor and color faster if left to sit at room temperature. If you are in a pinch, you can infuse your ingredients at room temperature for a few hours, then put the infusion in the refrigerator. You should not drink fruit infused water that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 12 hours because it will become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria (even if you cannot see it). Refrigeration is key!
Can I use dried fruits or frozen fruits in my waters?
Frozen fruits can be used, though they do not release as much juice and often fall apart into tiny pieces in your water. Do not use dried fruit; you simply won’t get very good results or flavor.
Is it important to use organic fruit and herbs?
Yes! Using organic produce is especially important if you are infusing fruits with the rind on. Otherwise, you could potentially be drinking pesticide residue. If you don’t have access to organic produce, simply cut off the rinds/ skins of your fruits. If cutting off the rind is not possible, rinse well and use a soft Fruit and Vegetable Brush or rinse well with water, using your fingers to rub the fruit.
Are there any nutritional benefits to drinking infused waters?
Absolutely! Nutrients leak out of the fruit directly into the water. Some nutritionists estimate that you get as much as 20% of the vitamin content of freshly squeezed fruit juice, all without the extra calories or fructose. In addition, fruits are naturally rich in antioxidants, so you’ll also be consuming a variety of naturally occurring antioxidants when you drink infused water. Basically, it’s like making your own “vitamin water” but without the cost or hidden ingredients. Teas such as green tea or chamomile are also antioxidant-rich, so adding tea to your recipes just adds to the goodness.
Can I eat the fruit after it has been infused?
Yes, you can eat the infused fruit, but you’ll find that it is not nearly as flavorful or colorful as fresh fruit. This is because infused fruits’ juices leak into the water, which is what makes your infused waters taste so good. Sometimes I will eat infused strawberries because they are still a little sweet. Most fruits, however, become rather bland after infusing.