Hundreds tasted the 10 waters offered at Rethink Your Drink

For reasons that remain a mystery to me, only half of today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, was published. Here’s what is missing. Later today, I’ll have photos from the July 11 water tasting so be sure to check back.

Rethink Your Drink Waters

 There are the waters from the public tasting on July 11. The quantities listed are for one gallon of tap water, but the quantities are not meant to be precise–feel free to vary quantities based on what is at hand. Keep the water in your refrigerator and as you enjoy it, top it off with more tap water. You’ll taste when its time to start a new batch.

Bodega Bay Farmers Market: Three sliced lemons, 4 or 5 big handfuls of nasturtium flowers

Bodega Bay Farmers Market Nasturtium Flower & Lemon Water

Cloverdale Farmers Market: Three sliced limes, 1/2 small watermelon, in chunks

Watermelon Lime Water is a personal favorite

Healdsburg Farmers Market: 2 sliced cucumbers, 3 sliced lemons, big handful of mint

Petaluma Farmers Market: 1/2 cup dried lavender flowers (steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes, strained), 3 sliced lemons SECOND PLACE WINNER

Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market: 3 cups mixed berries (raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries), handful of edible flowers THIRD PLACE WINNER

Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market: 5 peeled and sliced carrots, 4 cilantro sprigs, 6 to 8 Padron chiles, 1 tablespoon cumin seed

Hilda Swartz's First Place Water with Strawberries, Blueberries & Mint

Sonoma Valley and Oakmont Certified Farmers Markets: 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries, 1 1/2 cups muddled (crushed) blueberries, 8 to 10 large mint leaves (preferably chocolate mint) FIRST PLACE WINNER

Wednesday Night Market: 3 cups blackberries, 6 to 8 sage leaves

Windsor Certified Farmers Market: 2 sliced cucumbers, 2 jalapenos (split lengthwise), several thyme sprigs

Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program: 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced, 2 to 3 sliced oranges, several cilantro sprigs, handful of unsprayed rose petals GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Worth Our Weight Apprentices (Rafa, Rudolph, Jacqueline and Erick) pose near their winning water (center of the table)

A Sweet Flavored Water • Makes 1 quart, easily doubled

 I experimented with this water when I had a lot of fresh organic blueberries. It was absolutely delicious and I was able to top it off for over a week before the flavors grew weak.

  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries, halved
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pod, cracked
  1. Put the blueberries into a quart jar, such as a Mason jar, add the cloves and cardamom and fill with tap water. Secure the lid and refrigerate for several hours before straining into glasses. As you drink the water, top off the jar with tap water. Flavors will stay bright for about a week and sometimes longer.

A Savory Flavored Water • Makes 1 quart, easily doubled

 Water flavored with cucumber is remarkably refreshing and here forms the foundation for other flavors. If you prefer things tart and tangy, this is the flavored water for you.

  • 1 lemon cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3 or 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 lemon slices
  • Sprig of lemon verbena, optional
  1. Put the cucumber, radishes, lemon slices and lemon verbena, if using, into a quart jar, fill with tap water, secure the lid and refrigerate for several hours before staining into glasses. Flavors will stay bright for about a week; top off with fresh tap water as you drink it.

 A Spicy Flavored Water • Makes 1 quart, easily doubled

Don’t try to get your kids to drink this one; it is a rare child that likes spicy foods. But if you do, you’ll love this aromatic water that has quite a kick to it; it is perfect in hot weather.

  • 2 poblanos or 6 to 8 Padrons
  • 1 or 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles
  • 3 or 4 cilantro sprigs
  • 3 or 4 lime slices


  1. Wash the chiles. Make a lengthwise cut in each one, cutting from the trip and to but not through the stem end; you want to open them up, not slice them.
  2. Put the chiles into a quart jar, add the cilantro and lime, cover with tap water, secure the lid and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Pour into glasses to serve and top off the jar with more tap water. This will last at least a week.

Strawberry-Black Pepper Water • Makes 1 quart, easily doubled

  •  1 cup strawberries, stemmed and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons best-quality whole black peppercorns
  1. Put the strawberries into a quart jar, add the peppercorns and cover with tap water. Secure the lid and refrigerator for several hours. To serve, pour into glasses with or without ice. Top off the jar with more tap water; the flavors will stay bright for 3 or 4 days.

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