How Long To Let Cucumber Water Sit For The Maximum Infusion

Picture this: It's a hot summer day, and you're craving a refreshing drink; or, it's the first day of spring, and you bought fresh produce from the farmer's market; how about it's the middle of winter, and you're planning an at-home spa day? No matter the season, cucumber water knows no limitations, so long as you have enough patience for the infusion. 

Infusing — which is not to be confused with the earlier stage of steeping – is an essential process for adding the flavor of cucumbers to a pitcher of water. You'll need to infuse those vegetables long enough that they can do their job. Some recipes for cucumber water call for at least one hour of infusion. However, to be on the safe side, you may want to bump up that timeframe. Two hours should be enough for a successful infusion. 

As for how best to infuse your cucumbers? Simply add the vegetables to a pitcher of water and let the two meld in the refrigerator. For maximum flavor, the Kitchn recommends two cutting strategies. Slice your cucumbers into both rounds and ribbons. The larger rounds expedite the infusion process, while the smaller rounds keep crisp. Once you've successfully flavored your water with cucumber, you can get experimental with additional ingredients that can complement your cucumber infusion. 

Pair your cucumbers with other flavors for a well-rounded infusion

Making a delicious and flavorful pitcher of cucumber water can be as simple as, well, placing sliced cucumbers in water. Yet once you've perfected your cucumber flavor, you may want to incorporate other, complementary ingredients. Think: freshly-cut and crushed ginger or sliced citrus, like lemons, oranges, or limes. If herbs are more your thing, consider adding sprigs of fresh mint or even fresh basil. Herbs clearly complement cucumbers, so you can use whatever you have handy to upgrade your cucumber water from a simple source of hydration to a delicious drink. It's like making a cocktail without the alcohol — and without all the extra effort. 

No matter what you add, however, you'll always want to be patient in letting the flavors steep. Infusions don't require any cooking or added heat — but they do require time. Rest assured: the infusion is worth your patience. So long as you steep your cucumbers long enough, you can have both fun and flavor with something as simple as water.