Is it me or has sparkling water become the new craze? All the new flavors and brands are just so appealing on a hot day. It’s such a nice way to feel like you are drinking something fun without all the sugars and calories you can get from other drinks. (Although make sure to take a peek at the back of the can or bottle to make sure the brand you have chosen has what you are or aren’t looking for in it… Hello, spiked seltzer…)
Personally, I have discovered a love of adding extras to my bubbly water – as I call it – to make it SEEM like I am having a cocktail at 11:00 am. And hey, no judging if I PRETEND like I am having a cocktail well before the golden hour. We all gotta deal with quarantine life in our own way. Right?
Whether you are a regular consumer of sparkling water or have not quite fully jumped on the bandwagon yet, I thought I’d share a few fun tips and recipes to spice up your sparkling water on these last few weeks of summer. You see, the key to sparkling water is it needs to be cold and on the rocks (ice cubes). So grab a fun cup with a straw and let’s get started.
First, add some fresh fruit or herbs – like strawberries, oranges, mint or basil leaves, vanilla bean – with anise.
Another option is to add a simple syrup to your water to give it a little sweetness. Below are a few of my favorite simple syrups I like to make at home! These are easy and can last up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge. The best part is you can add them to sweet teas, juices and cocktails, along with your sparkling water.
Basil Simple Syrup: (my favorite)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup washed basil leaves
In a small sauce pan bring water to a simmer on medium heat. Pour in sugar and basil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Then pour through a fine sieve into a jar or resealable container.
I love adding this simple syrup to the following sparkling water flavors and drinks:
- Strawberry Mango sparkling water
- Watermelon sparkling water
- Clementine Pellegrino
- Iced tea
Vanilla Simple Syrup:
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 tbs of vanilla
In a small sauce pan bring water and sugar to a boil on medium heat. Cook rapidly for 8-9 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
Add this Vanilla Simple Syrup to plain sparkling water with a bit of anise. The combination of sweet vanilla and black licorice creates a cream soda flavor.
Several other drinks ideas to add this syrup to include:
- Coconut sparkling water
- Pineapple sparkling water
- Iced coffee
The end result though, is always the same… Yummy!!!
Overall, there are lots of great ideas and ways to add fun to this new craze of sparkling (bubbly) waters. So pandemic or no, remember to Enjoy! and Cheers! to you hard working mamas who are not getting a break right now. We’ve got this!