Sunday, 31 July 2011
How to make tap water taste good
I was blogging this week for The Guardian about soft drinks - mainly from the point of view of what to drink when you don't drink alcohol. One of the points that came up, however, is how expensive many soft drinks are - volume for volume, often as much as wine.
It prompted me to point out (in the unlikely event that you're not already aware of it) how good basic tap water can taste if you tart it up a bit. Step one obviously being to chill it and add some extra ice cubes then to add some extra ingredients as they did in this hotel I stayed in in Chile (above) where they flavoured it with peaches, melon and strawberries.
Coils of cucumber also look cool: simply halve a cucumber, peel it and trim off the end then cut it in fine slices with a mandolin or vegetable peeler and drop them in. Lemon and lime obviously taste good too: so much better - and cheaper - than those artificially flavoured waters.
Serving it in a water jug or decanter - easily picked up from a charity shop - makes it look swish too.
If you prefer your water fizzy - which I sometimes do - it's worth shopping around. Sainsbury's own brand sparkling water for example is just 40p for 2 litres compared to 69p for the same amount in the Co-op and £1.01 for a 750ml bottle of San Pellegrino, which is over five times as expensive. If you give it the same treatment (added citrus or other fruits) you really won't notice the difference unless you're a mineral water geek.