Flavored waters are delicious, healthy and very easy to make at home.

At this week’s Wednesday Night Market, the ReThink Your Drink Campaign will present a tasting of flavored waters. The tasting is being coordinated by the Network for a Healthy California, part of the California Health Collaborative.

The goal of the campaign is simple: To get people of all ages to drink water instead of sugar-laden beverages. Convincing people to shift abruptly from, say, their favorite cola to tap water can be a hard sell and so someone came up with the idea of flavoring water with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and, sometimes, spices. These flavored waters are not agua frescas, smoothies or even lemonade or limeade. They more closely resemble some of the waters poured at high-end restaurants, where your glass might be filled with water infused with lemon verbena, cucumbers, rose petals or lemon.

If you’re curious about how much sugar is in commercial beverages, check out sugarstacks.com, which has good–and shocking–visuals.

To up public interest in this event, the Network invited all local farmers markets to submit a signature water. About 9 markets responded with recipes.

The apprentices at Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program will prepare all of the waters along with their own signature water and transport them to the market, where they will be available for tasting from 5 to 6:30. The public can vote for their favorite water and at 6:30, the top three vote getters will be announced.

As it turns out, I’ve gotten involved in the project myself. WOW’s executive director, Evelyn Cheatham, is away on a rare vacation and so I was brought it to work with the apprentices in her absence. It’s an honor and a pleasure to do so and I’m sure I’ll be writing about the experience in an upcoming blog post.

In the meantime, look for these delicious flavored waters somewhere near Fourth & D Streets on Wednesday, July 11, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. See you there!

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