In case you haven’t heard of it, MetroMint is probably the best flavored water beverage out there, bar none. Assuming you like mint. If you don’t like mint, then (1) you are weird, and (2) MetroMint is not for you.
Flavored waters, while once being lauded as The Next Big Thing in healthy stuff, have recently-ish (over the last few years) been getting raked over the coals for being chock full of sugar and, well, being as crappy as soda while trying to look all healthy-like.
And then, quietly one day, I discovered MetroMint waters. They are very, very simple, and incredibly delicious. They are just pure water, infused with various mint and non-mint flavors. That’s it. No sugars. No salts. No carbonation. No preservatives, even, since most of the flavors come from essential oils – and therefore don’t need ‘em.
I know what you’re thinking, “Fat Girl, why would I pay $2 for 16.9oz of any bottled water? That’s hardly green.”
You know why? Because the whole reason flavored waters sell at all is because, no matter how much you love water, sometimes you just can’t drink any more. I’m 90% convinced that’s why people invented tisanes/tea/coffee. Because all of those are nasty until you acquire a taste for them. Or add a crapton of sugar. Or both.
My personal favs are the Peppermint and the Chocolate Mint. The Spearmint is good, and totally does have an almost sweetness to it, but I prefer the Peppermint because it is powerfully minty. This is good for me because I like things tremendously cold – and with the peppermintiness floating around, even at room temp this water feels cold going down.
Plus you get all the other benefits of mint consumption, like fresher breath, calmed tummies, and relief from indigestion. Win win win! Oh, plus drinking-more-water-win and actually-enjoying-a-calorie-free-beverage-win.
I find that Chocolate Mint is perfect for those days when you are hot and sweaty and cranky, and all you really want is a cool pool, a tall frosty glass of something, and a York Peppermint Patty.
If you savor a sip of Chocolate Mint, you’ll swear someone soaked a York in it overnight – even down to the sweetness. If you chug, somehow the sweetness gets more noticeable? I think the secret is that we as Americans are programmed to expect chocolate and sweet together, and I think MetroMint boosts that brain-based illusion by using the ‘sweeter’ spearmint essence.
There are also ways to make it more green, too, if you’re honestly worried about that – make it at home. I’ll warn you, the upfront cost is significantly more expensive due to needing to by a bottle or two of essences (either extracts or essential oils). If I were you and unsure about exactly how much I’d like this whole mentholated-water hooey, I’d shell out a few dollars and try one of each of MetroMint’s varieties.
Before I launch into water-making (did I really just say that?), we need a quick review of the essences you might choose to use. There are basically two kinds – extracts and essential oils.
EXTRACTS – are flavors generally in a neutral base, which is almost always alcohol, but occasionally water or something else. They are somewhat less intense than oils, and their ability to flavor can weaken over time, exposure to air, or exposure to heat.
ESSENTIAL OILS – are nuthin’ but flavor, and they are intense. Let me repeat that in case you weren’t listening – THEY ARE INTENSE! They generally don’t lose a lot of oomph when exposed to time, air, or heat. Also, you need to be sure that any essential oil you intend to consume is, you know ::fanfare:: intended for human consumption. Most are, but some aren’t – they’re intended for external use only, and can make you really sick if you ingest them, so check the bottle. Sometimes essential oils intended for human consumption are called or labeled as ‘culinary’ essences or oils.
Also, the only thing I’d change about MetroMint water is that I’d carbonate it. At home, I can – and so can you.
Chocolate Mint Water
- 22oz tumbler (I <3 Tervis and Aladdin tumblers – unpaid plug, by the way)
- ¼ tsp spearmint extract OR 1 DROP spearmint essential oil (seriously, a single drop is PLENTY)
- ¼ tsp chocolate extract (I’ve never seen chocolate essential oil, but if you plan to use that, I’d start with 1 DROP as well)
- ½ cup ice (Sonic ice is best, and yes, you can buy it by the bag – and I do)
- Purified water to fill tumbler (either flat or soda water, NOT tonic water)
- Put the essences into the bottom of the tumbler.
- Cover with ice.
- Fill with water.
- Stir and enjoy. Repeat as necessary to thoroughly quench thirst.
That’s really all there is to it. Feel free to expand your collection of extracts and essential oils and play around. There’s this cinnamon oil I’ve been eyeing for a few months, and I also like Lavender Spearmint as a change of pace. But the next time I’m craving something sweet and refreshing, I’m totally going to try Double Vanilla Spearmint – I’m going to psych out my ‘this should taste sweet’ reflex so hard, man.
Looking for extracts/essential oils in flavors you never thought possible? I use SavorySpiceShop.com, and no, I don’t get paid to say that. I do get fabulous customer service (like, remember-you-by-name-a-week-later service), vast selection, truly knowledgeable staff, and freshness that must be tasted to be believed. I’ll make it easy – click here for a direct hook up to their extracts page.