The other day we were all talking about the little things we’re missing during the pandemic, and I realized that, of all things, I really miss spa water!
Going to the gym, or the spa, was a regular part of many people’s pre-pandemic self-care routine. Whether you prefer lifting, or hitting the elliptical, or a climbing gym, or swimming, or just relaxing in the steam room after a long work week, you’ve probably had to make some adjustments or compromises. And in almost all of those scenarios there’s some type of dispenser filled with deliciously refreshing ice-cold water infused with fruits, or other fresh flavours, that made the whole experience feel more special.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that being without spa water is far from a tragedy, but little things add up, and it’s important to take time for self-care, especially right now when so many things feel so out of sorts. Plus, spa water is incredibly good for you, super inexpensive to make, and it’s a fun way to experiment while we’re all stuck at home.
Making good spa water is a simple but delicate task. Use only the freshest ingredients and let them sit in ice-cold water for at least a few hours. DO NOT mash or squeeze your flavourings…just be patient and give them time to do their thing. If you can wait a full 24 hours, the flavours will be really robust and wonderful, but even 3-4 hours should do the trick nicely, providing you use adequate amounts.
The simplest spa water is just lemon-water. To make this, simply add 1/2 sliced medium-sized lemon to roughly 2 litres of ice-water in a glass jug and let it sit.
Lemon and cucumber are great bases to use for other flavourings, both separately and together. Start with 1/2 sliced whole lemon and/or about 1/5-1/4 sliced large English cucumber (peeled), and then try adding things like 3 sliced strawberries, 1/3-1/4 cup melon, or a few sprigs of fresh herbs like mint, rosemary, or basil.
A few rules:
– use similar amounts of each flavour to avoid any one thing being overpowering.
– herbs are great, but most people prefer them to be a complimentary flavour, not a dominant one – so it should be lemon/rosemary, not rosemary/lemon.
– if you’re adding lots of flavours, make sure to reduce the quantities of each one, but not too much. If you’re using lemons, strawberries and cantaloupe, honeydew, and mint, you can reduce the amount of each fruit you’re using, but there should be more overall fruit than if you were using only strawberries and lemons.
– avoid hard fruits like apples and pears.
– use stone fruits like peaches or plums only if they’re not too-soft.
– experiment with tropicals like pineapple or mango and anything leafy and flavourful.
– get a second (or third) life out of your ingredients by giving them the lightest squeeze and refilling the jug with fresh water.
Some Flavour Combinations We Love:
(1/2 lemon, 3 strawberries, 3 sprigs mint)
(1/2 lemon, 1/4 cucumber, 1/4 cup melon)
(1/4 cucumber, 1/4 cup melon, 2-3 sprigs rosemary)
(1/4 cucumber, 1/3 cup pineapple, 2-3 pieces lemongrass)
(1/4 cup cantaloupe, 1/4 cup watermelon, 3 sprigs mint)
(1/4 cup melon, 3 strawberries, 4-5 red grapes)
(1/2 lemon, 2 strawberries, 1/4 cup melon, 2 sprigs mint, 2 sprigs rosemary)
(3/4 lemon, 1 tsp spirulina)