Summer Health Tonic

We all know it's good to drink plenty of water especially on hot days in summer.  Water is a great drink but sometimes we want something that has a little more.  Soft drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic drinks and flavoured milks can be tempting but the high sugar content of these can seriously undermine our efforts to stay healthy.  

Sweet carbonated drinks are probably the worst but many of us like the sensation of drinking something fizzy.  I wanted a beverage that was refreshing, easy to make and a boost to health rather that a drain on it.  I decided to avoid anything sweet.  To my surprise the so called "Sour Water" has become a hit among my soft drink consuming friends, who claim it is just as refreshing as a sickly sweet can of fizz.  It also cleanses the palate, so you can get maximum enjoyment from a low-sugar treat after a glass of Sour.

The recipe is basic and should be adjusted to suit your taste.  The green tea creates a more complex flavour: try experimenting with different varieties such as sencha or jasmine.

 

Sour Water Refreshing Tonic

  • 750ml filtered water
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice - or a combination of lemon and lime
  • 1/2 cup of freshly brewed green tea - cooled (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar - unpasteurised & unfiltered (optional)

You can also add Vitamin C: 500 - 1000mg through a powder supplement would be suitable - but this is optional.  Check with your health professional if you are not sure how much supplement to add.

Mix ingredients in a large glass jar or jug and store in the fridge.  To serve, pour half a glass of sour water and top up with chilled soda water.  Alternatively you can drink it straight for a "flat" version.  Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients or some do not appeal, even the most simple variation of lemon juice and water is still very good.  

 

How Does it Boost my Health?

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and green tea contains catechins (epigallocatechin), a type of flavanol also with strong antioxidant effects.  Lemon and lime juice and apple cider vinegar are weak organic acids that can stimulate digestion and help create an ideal pH level in the gut.  This promotes good bacteria which in turn strengthen the immune system.  Here is a list of some dietary acids and their sources:

  • Citric acid - lemon and lime
  • Malic acid - unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Acetic acid - apple cider vinegar

Note: While lemon juice and cider vinegar can be good for you, they can be harsh on tooth enamel.  Use a straw to consume if you have sensitive teeth or are concerned about erosion of enamel.