Sunny Sunday Strawberry Sparkler

Have you ever found yourself thirsty for something besides water on a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon? And maybe you’re avoiding alcohol and its commonly proffered alternatives of sugary soda or juice. It’s too hot for tea, and iced tea takes too long to brew/cool-down. So what do you do? You make a Sunny Sunday Strawberry Spritzer!

Here’s how you do it. I’m not going to Pin-it or make a fancy how-to video for it. Because like having trans-inclusive¬†healthcare intake forms, it just shouldn’t be that hard ūüėČ

Up until now I thought that this kind of thing was too Martha-Stewart-y to be worth my time. But with fresh strawberries in season and a lemon tree in my front yard, I’m coming around to finding alternative hydration methods to boring tap water.

Step One: Find a pitcher/humongous jar/some type of vessel that you REALLY like. You have to really like looking at this container for this magical drink to be worth your time. Mine is glass with pictures of lemons etched into it. Maybe you like ducks instead. Maybe you find a vintage purple-curved-handled (that is a VERY interesting handle, isn’t it?)¬†glass¬†pitcher at a flea market.

Or you can go all hipster-farm-to-table style and choose one of those humongous mason jars and drill your own spout. Decorate it with recycled paper drink labels while you’re at it, go ahead, knock yourself out! Or perhaps you already have a sensible glass¬†pitcher at your house and that’s good enough.

Sounds good, on to the next step.

Step Two:

Put lots of ice in your pitcher. It will keep your drink cold. Plus the more solid objects you have floating in your water, the more fancy it will be!

Step Three:

Fill up your pitcher most of the way with water.

Step Four:

Now here’s where you start slicing up your lemons. You only need like one or two, unless you like to go overboard with things. In reality, you could just squeeze a whole lemon into your pitcher and the water would taste the same as if you dumped a handful of cut-up lemons into it without squeezing them. But then you’d lose points on the fancy-scale, so don’t skip this step.

Step Five:

Do you like herbs? Good, this is your chance to put in a few sprigs of rosemary or lavender or mint or basil. Do I like herbs? Heck yes I like herbs, but somehow¬†I can’t even keep a mint plant alive. I know, its roots are supposed to propagate like crazy and it can grow anywhere, yeah yeah, I want to blame this on our two young kids and our pee-happy male dog, but the mint-plant destruction wasn’t their doing. #willneverhaveagreenthumb

#am I allowed to use hashtags on a blog where I make fun of hipsters? I don’t know the answer to that but I refuse to type this many words without any spaces in between.

Step Six:

So things are looking pretty good in that pitcher, but still a little plain, you say? Hmm, time to add more colorful things. Chop up some strawberries and whatever other fruit your heart desires. Except for maybe bananas. I don’t think those would taste very good soaked in water? That’s a little too hardcore for me. But like, oranges would be a good choice. Some people on the internet would tell you to “muddle” your fruit before you add it, but if you have to fancy-up a word like “mash” then that tips the scale into dangerous Pinterest territory in my opinion. Besides, if you were going to go to all that trouble, why wouldn’t you just mix in some protein powder and make yourself a smoothie. ¬†Yummm smoothie…ooh that would be a good place for that banana!

Step Seven (Optional):

Add seltzer water. How much? I don’t know. I didn’t even add seltzer water when I made this for our family. But everyone is crazy for seltzer water these days, so add like, about a can, or so. ¬†Let me know how much is too much. How could I create a drink name like “Sunny Sunday Strawberry Sparkler” without seltzer water? Then it would just sound like something to drink while watching fireworks! Just add seltzer to make it sensational! OK, seriously, make up your mind, do you like bubbly water or not?

Step Eight:

OK, this is kind of like the cheating step at the end. Everyone else on those inspiration board websites has spent all morning muddling their fruit and creating recycled paper drink labels, rendering them too tired and thirsty to even think about doing my step eight. Here it is *whispers* :

Add a tiny splash of sparkling soda. Not half the bottle, not even half a cup, just about a tablespoon or two. Your refreshing drink is already complete, this is just a bonus. It doesn’t really change the taste very much. But the secret is that is turns your water red! Think the color of your drink doesn’t matter? Then why is Starbucks Unicorn Sweet Stack Sensation (or whatever they call it) the number one selling drink this week?

I mean, yeah, I could drop food coloring in there, or wait all day for some muddled-berries to infuse the water. (D’oh, I swore I’d make it through this post without using the word “infuse”). But this is what I did and I will do it again. We don’t normally have this laying around, but we had purchased some for a party last weekend. And we had some left over. And I was desperate to make some kind of not-boring and actually kind of interesting hydrating concoction. So there you go, the secret eighth step. It really does trick your brain into thinking you are drinking something other than plain water. The one we used was¬†Cost Plus¬†Blackberry Pomegrante Soda. But there are lots of other options out there.

I didn’t take a picture of the final product, what am I, a food blogger? So you just have to take my word for it that it looked something like this, only with lemons and more amazing! When the pitcher gets low, just fill it up with water again. You don’t have to add more fruit, unless your toddler fishes it all out, and then it’s up to you whether to refill your fruit. You might have other things you want to get to later in the afternoon!

Let me know if you tried this and if helped bust some boredom!

Photo attributions: cc wiki and pixabay.