Ginger-Mint Sparkling Water

This refreshing beverage is full of flavor and sparkle for minimal calories.  For other flavor combinations try cucumber/mint, strawberry/cucumber, lemon/basil, raspberry/mint, strawberry/basil, or cucumber/lemon.  

Makes: 2 Quarts

Ingredients:
6 sprigs of mint
10 slices of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced thinly)
4 cups thinly sliced fresh pineapple (about ½ of a large pineapple)
2 quarts seltzer water (plain or citrus-flavored)

Preparation:
Lightly crush the fresh ginger with the handle of a wooden spoon in a glass pitcher or bowl.  Add the fresh mint and lightly mash the mint with the ginger.  Add the fresh pineapple slices.   Pour 1 quart of seltzer over the fruit mixture.  Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to infuse into the water.  

Stir well and pour through a strainer.  Discard the fruit, mint, ginger mix OR toss them in a closed container to add to your next smoothie. 

When it’s time to serve, pour the second quart of seltzer water into the flavored fruit water.  For a nice visual effect, serve from a clear glass pitcher and add more fresh pineapple and mint for garnish.  Store in the refrigerator; will keep up to 3 days (although you will lose the fizz).

Note: Still water may be used in place of seltzer water, in which case, add the 2 quarts of still water to the fruit in the beginning and strain before serving.

For more food and nutrition ideas contact Kris Bonham, RDN at krisb@acac.com