5 Ways to Dress Up a Glass of Water

While there's no evidence that drinking eight glasses of water every day is the perfect prescription for good health, it's a reasonable guideline for most people. Flavored waters can help you reach that goal. A wedge of lemon in your water is classic, but there are more creative ways to add fun and flavor to your drink.

When you drink water with a meal, you don't necessarily want to jazz it up in ways that might interfere with the flavor of your food. But at other times, especially on a hot day when you're in the mood for a tall, cool drink, a little flavor in your water can go a long way toward satisfying your need for fluids and your desire for a little zest in your glass. Also, flavor that comes from fresh fruit can infuse your water with natural vitamins and minerals.

1. Cucumber Water

A cool glass of water somehow seems even cooler when you add a couple of thin slices of cucumber. One of the best parts of this old-fashioned idea is that there's no need to wait. Cucumbers immediately add flavor. Of course you can keep a pitcher of cucumber water in your fridge overnight for instant refreshment the next day. And, when you're done drinking, there's a crisp, refreshing bonus at the bottom of your glass.

2. Strawberry Mint Water

All it takes is a handful of strawberries and a few springs of mint to add summery-fresh

3. Ginger-Lime Water

Grate a two-inch piece of fresh gingerroot and add it, along with a thinly sliced lime (or lemon), to a glass or pitcher of water. For full flavor, refrigerate ginger-lime water for at least eight hours or overnight.

4. Tutti-Frutti Water

Think about sangria, without the alcohol, but with all that fresh fruit. Try slices of orange, lemon and lime, chunks of peaches and pineapple, halved grapes, and pitted cherries. Add any combination of these or similar fruits to a pitcher of cold water to serve soon or to mull overnight for stronger flavor.

5. Fizzy Water

When seltzer averages about a dollar a liter, do-it-yourself carbonation starts to make sense, especially if you drink a lot of fizzy water. Seltzer made with a soda siphon costs about half that in the long run, plus you'll contribute less plastic bottle waste to the environment and always have seltzer on hand. And unlike colas and other carbonated soft drinks, which add nothing but calories and chemicals to your diet, plain seltzer is just as healthy as still water. Once your water is carbonated, you can add flavor with crushed fresh fruits or berries, or a splash of fruit juice.