As you think about what foods you want for your next cookout, don't forget the water. With a little help from garden-fresh produce, it can taste as special as the dishes you make. Here are a few winning combinations for perking up a quart of water. Add the flavorings to a pitcher, and then fill the pitcher with water. For best taste, use spring water, and serve it in a clear glass container.
Apple-Lemon-Mint Combine a thinly sliced tart red apple, such as Braeburn, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a bunch of fresh mint in a pitcher. Add water, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Cranberry For a rose-colored cocktail alternative, place 1 cup dried cranberries in a pitcher. Add water, and steep overnight in the refrigerator. Serve the water in fluted stemware.
Cucumber Add thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers to a pitcher. Or pump up the flavor by adding a few dil or mint sprigs with the cucumber. Add water, refrigerate and steep overnight.
Fennel Place a thinly sliced fennel bulb and chopped fennel fronds in a pitcher. Add water, and steep overnight in the refrigerator.
Pineapple-Herb For a slightly sweet beverage to accompany Asian or spicy food, spike the water with 5 large mint sprigs, one small bunch of basil leaves and half of a medium pineaple, peeled and sliced. Steep overnight in the refrigerator.