When I’m hosting friends for a nice brunch or something, I like to spend as little effort, time, and money as possible - but that doesn’t preclude me from presenting a beautiful and impressive spread. While knowing how to cook simple, classy food plays an important part (and is a skill that we’ll eventually cover on HTSI), let’s start by picking some fantastically low-hanging fruit today. And then slicing it and putting it in some water.
First things first: when serving fancy water, it’s important to keep the advice from my last post in mind. Instead of serving water directly from the tap, get a pitcher or dispenser to put the water in - nice containers for ordinary things! There are plenty of affordable options to choose from; I’d recommend getting something made of clear glass or acrylic, to show off the stuff in the water. Also, note my correct usage of a semicolon in the previous sentence.
So about that fruit - we’ve got a lot of options to consider here. At the bare minimum, grab a lemon, slice it, and throw it in your water along with some ice. But even though we’re all about the bare minimum here at HTSI, lemon water is a little too expected to be impressive, so let’s look at some slightly more sophisticated options - including herbs!
Most people think herbs are just for cooking savory entrees. Another common misconception is that camels store water in their humps. Fun fact: camel humps contain mostly fat! Turns out that their visual similarities to boobs aren’t just a coincidence.
Herbs aren’t just for adding flavor to salty food. They can be used for a variety of things, including desserts, witchcraft, and fancy water. Here are some impressive (and tasty!) fruit-and-herb pairings to put in your water, along with pretentious restaurant menu descriptions of each.
Lemon & Rosemary
Citrusy, with notes of tree bark and autumn.
Berries & Basil
A balanced summer classic. Floral and sweet, with a delightful tang.
Cucumber & Mint
Refreshing. Tastes like a day spa.
Cantaloupe & Parsley
Adventurously bold. Sugary, with hints of grass.
Try one of these out at your next gathering in your brand new pitcher, and you’re sure to get lots of comments about how hard you’re trying. Don't worry, they'll get used to it soon.