It’s hot here. Worse than the heat, the humidity is oppressive…it’s like a steamy blanket that envelops you as soon as you step out into it. When it’s this humid, it’s very easy to become overheated quickly because the body’s evaporative cooling system is less effective, so people who work outdoors (like farmers) can become dehydrated without even realizing it. Water is definitely a must on hot days, but I think the best – and arguably the tastiest – thirst quencher is probiotic water kefir!
We ramp up water kefir production when it’s hot out because we’ll drink more of it. Today, I started three bottles of it in second fermentation – the phase where it can be infused with flavor. I pulled a slightly shriveled kiwi (they’ll last a long time in there), a half a grapefruit, a half a lime, and a half inch piece of fresh ginger from the refrigerator. I generally prefer using fresh fruit and herbs to flavor my water kefir because there’s no added sugar unless I choose to add it; plus, I just don’t think bottled juice can compete with the bright flavors of fresh fruit. Better yet, the fruit doesn’t have to be “pretty” to work really well in water kefir.
Mashed, the kiwi will add a surprisingly citrus flavor to the kefir. I ream the grapefruit and add the fresh juice, along with chopped peel, to create an intensely citrusy drink. Finally, the juice reamed from the half lime, along with bruised pine needles (from our own trees), and minced ginger will infuse the water kefir with sunny, crisp flavor – just right for hot days.
Any of the three flavors is a delightful libation, but each is also incredibly refreshing. Citrus flavors and hot weather just seem to go hand in hand.
Want more information about preventing heat-related illness? The CDC posted the following information on keeping yourself hydrated in the heat: CDC: Heat Stress – Hydration. Cheers…and stay cool!
Do you have go to thirst-quenching drinks for summer? Tell us about them in the comments!