Janna Jo Williams is the dedicated green thumb and talented entertaining guru in charge of the gardens and special events at our Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, California. She developed this delightful flavored water with the bountiful herbs she grows in our Cut-Your-Own Organic Herb Garden there.
"As perfect and refreshing for a party as for home, this Fancy Herb Water is a delicious and fragrant way to quench your thirst," she says...and lots of Farm Stand event attendees agree!
"I choose all of my favorites from our organic herb garden here at the Farm Stand: in the video my infused water has lemon verbena, chamomile, lemon balm, bee balm, Moroccan mint, borage, lavender and a rosebud for both flavor and a pretty accent. You can use whatever fresh herbs you have in your garden or that you purchase — ones that you might use in your favorite hot tea would work beautifully in this cold brew."
Always be sure to use only organic herbs and flowers so you don’t inadvertently add chemicals or pesticides to your water. This recipe makes about 16-24 8-ounce servings of infused water.
Fill your container with the water and enough crushed ice to chill yet leave room in the liquid to stir the herb bouquet through the water.
Rinse the herbs well (you may want to blot them dry on a cloth or paper towel just enough so you can work with them easily). Strip the leaves from the lower 3-4 inches of the herb stems as you gather them into a bouquet in your hand. When you have your herbs arranged in your bouquet as you like, wrap the kitchen twine around them a few times and tie it off securely with a double granny knot or bow. (Set the leaves aside to use later for tea.)
Gently plunge the herb bouquet into the container of ice water, leaving the stem ends sticking out enough that you can easily pull them out later when you’re ready to serve. Stir the bouquet around a bit to gently bruise the leaves and release their essential oils. Let stand for at least 1 hour, or more if possible. (If you have time, skip the ice and let the herbs infuse the water overnight in the fridge.)
When you’re ready to serve, taste the water to check flavor, then remove the herb bouquet. For a lovely party presentation, make a second smaller herb bouquet that matches the first one. Place it into your container and stir briefly just before serving. That way your guests can see the herbs that are flavoring your delicious water.
Note: Janna Jo says she doesn’t always use mint, because some varieties can overshadow the delicate flavors of the other herbs. Experiment and find a combo you like!