The Prettiest Spring Sips Will Also Have You Feeling Your Best
Drinks with benefits.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 10:49 AM
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While a cocktail might make for a nice treat, the most enticing elixirs of the season are completely alcohol-free—and better yet, they come with a bevy of wellness benefits, whether you want to give your immune system a boost or soothe achy muscles after an intense workout. Consider these beverages the newest form of color therapy.
Turmeric Tonic: Calms Inflammation
A little black pepper is key for activating turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory properties (and using the root in extract form creates a less chalky flavor).
Ingredients: ¼ cup sparkling water 7 drops turmeric liquid extract Squeeze of lime or lemon Small pinch Himalayan pink salt A few turns from a black pepper mill
How-to: Combine all ingredients in a small glass (you can take it like a shot) and enjoy.
Flower Water: Boosts Energy
Adding just a tiny bit of saffron to your H20 delivers a powerful punch of vitamin A and beta-carotene, a dynamic duo that brings better focus and higher energy. Make a batch and store it in your fridge for up to three days for a mental boost whenever you need it.
Ingredients: 4 cups spring or filtered water 1 tsp saffron 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice Fresh or dried calendula, cornflower, or rose petals for garnish
How-to: Combine ingredients in a glass container, cover, and cold-infuse in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Serve cold and garnish with a pinch of garden party–inspired petals.
Butterfly Pea Flower & Lemongrass Infusion: Detoxifies
With a mild earthy flavor similar to matcha (minus the caffeine) and an equally striking hue, butterfly pea flower is also known for having a cleansing effect. Lemongrass and honey brighten up this recipe and add a touch of sweetness. For a groovy party trick, squeeze some lemon into the tea—and watch the liquid turn a vivid violet, as if by magic.
Ingredients: 4 cups spring or filtered water 2 tbsp organic whole butterfly pea flower (purchase at your local spice shop or on Amazon) 1 stalk lemongrass, outer layers removed, inside sliced thin 2 tbsp honey
How-to: Combine ingredients in a glass container, cover, and cold-infuse in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Strain through a sieve and serve cold.
To change the color of your infusion from blue to purple, add the juice of half a lemon after straining.
Globe Amaranth & Coconut Water Infusion: Supports the Immune System
Pink globe amaranth boasts a bevy of nutrients, including vitamins K, B6, and C—all of which work together to support and balance the immune system. Pair the pretty buds with some coconut water, and you have a potion that keeps you hydrated and staves off colds for as long as you sip it.
Ingredients: 4 cups coconut water ¼ cup organic whole globe amaranth flower (purchase at your local spice shop or on Amazon)
How-to: Combine both ingredients in a glass container, cover, and cold-infuse in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Strain through a sieve and serve cold.
Calendula-Chamomile Infusion: Soothes Nerves
A hot cup of chamomile tea is the classic remedy to combat stress or sleeplessness, but a cold-brewed infusion is easier to drink on the go. Apigenin, an antioxidant found in the flower, relieves anxiety and helps you wind down—and with calming calendula in the mix, your nervous system can properly chill.
Ingredients: 4 cups spring or filtered water 2 tbsp whole dried chamomile flower 1 tbsp dried calendula flower Maple syrup, to taste
How-to: Combine ingredients in a glass container, cover, and cold-infuse in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Strain through a sieve, add maple syrup to taste, and serve cold.
Red Fruits Elixir: Eases Muscle Tension
Skip the protein shake—after an invigorating gym session, this frothy drink eases aches and pains. Tart cherry juice is rich in magnesium, a muscle-recovery must, and the high dose of antioxidants you get from dark fruits like grapes, cranberries, and raspberries keep you healthy in the long run.
Ingredients: ¼ cup Concord grape–cinnamon shrub (or another red fruit shrub, such as plum, raspberry, cranberry, elderberry, etc.—see shrub instructions, below) ¼ cup honey, agave, or red fruit syrup (see syrup instructions, below) ¼ cup tart cherry juice ¼ cup filtered water
How-to: Combine ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously to make the drink frothy, and serve immediately.
Rhubarb Shrub Sparkler: Keeps Bones Strong
It’s just not the prettiest thing you’ll find at the farmers’ market—in-season rhubarb is also high in calcium and vitamin K, two important nutrients for bone health. Another highlight: This fizzy refresher tastes like a spring celebration in a glass.
Ingredients: ¼ cup rhubarb-fennel pollen shrub (see shrub instructions, below) ¼ cup honey, agave, or rhubarb fruit syrup (see syrup instructions, below) ½ cup sparkling water
How-to: Pour all ingredients into a glass over ice. Mix with a spoon and enjoy.
How to Make a Fruit Syrup
Chop 2 cups of your fruit of choice, such as cranberries or rhubarb, into medium-size cuts and add to a saucepan. Cover the fruit with filtered water and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally skimming the surface if needed. Cool the mixture and strain it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag. Measure the liquid and add it back to the pot. Then pour in cane sugar (or another natural sweetener), so there is one part sugar to two parts liquid, and bring the mixture to a boil again. Store in a sterilized jar or bottle with an airtight lid and refrigerate—your homemade syrup will keep (and impress guests) for up to one month.
How to Make a Fruit Shrub
First, mash or chop 2 cups of your fruit of choice, such as grapes, pineapple, cranberries, or rhubarb. Next, in a sterile jar, layer in the fruit pieces, alternating with cane sugar or another natural sweetener (measuring out and using a half cup total) and a tablespoon (total) of whole spice, like cinnamon, cardamom, or fennel seeds, if you want more kick. Cover with an airtight lid and leave the jar out at room temperature (and out of direct sun) for 24 hours. Then pour in 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, stir, and leave out at room temperature, covered with an airtight lid, for two days or up to a month. Strain through a sieve lined with fine mesh or a nut-milk bag. Store in a sterilized bottle in the refrigerator for as long as you like (it won’t expire). Kombucha devotees: Here’s an old-school, alcohol-free bev you’ll want to sip all season.
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