We had a birthday party for my aunt which allowed me to do this great party recipe. Without further ado, fresh from my kitchen, it's Fancy Water. (insert oohs and ahhs here.)
Warning: This recipe is for advanced chefs only. It involves difficult tasks like cutting with sharp knives and pouring water. Be sure that you are ready to take this on. I offer you many pictures so that you can truly understand this complicated recipe.
Just kidding. I have actually given you tons of photos for this recipe because I discovered the back lit setting on my point-and-shoot camera and because the ingredients are so pretty. I like pretty.
What we need: 2-3 gallons of bottled water, 2 oranges, 2 apples, fresh mint, fresh strawberries
Rinse the mint in cold water and pat dry on a clean kitchen towel. I am using one package of organic mint. I don't know how much is in a package because I already threw it away, so the amount will have to remain "one package".
Rinse the strawberries and allow them to drain. See, aren't they pretty. Wasn't that worth three pictures of such a simple task?
Pour the bottled water into your serving container. I only add one gallon in this picture and the other later, but now I've decided that doesn't work as well. So add both gallons now. (Hold the third gallon in reserve in case you have to add more water during the party.) Hmmm. I don't think I made this step confusing at all.
Note: I'm a bit of a bottled water connoisseur. You kind of have to be if you live in an area with yucky tap water, like I do. My personal preference is Sparkletts. If you have yummy, fresh, delicious water that comes straight from your tap, please stop bragging. And yes, if you insist, you may use it in this recipe.
Next rinse the oranges and slice them into thick slices. Any kind of orange will do. I used Cara Cara oranges because I was
hoodwinked intrigued by the grocery store sign that promised a sweet orange with "raspberry overtones." I can't say I tasted the raspberry overtones but the oranges looked a little raspberry.
Onward and upward. Float the orange slices in the water.
Now, core and slice the apples. As with the oranges, you want nice, thick slices. I love the way the apple skin makes ribbons of color. Again, the word of the day, pretty.
OK, change in plans. I hope you have some lemon or lime juice in the frig. I notice that the apples began browning right away where I cored them. So I quickly tossed them in the lime juice. The acid should stop the browning and a big part of Fancy Water is the visual beauty of the fruit.
Slip the apple slices into the pool with the oranges.
This step may seem obvious but stick with me: pat the strawberries dry. If not the icky tap water may infiltrate your yummy Fancy Water. May I repeat, if your tap water is delish, shh, no bragging.
Pick ten or so of the prettiest strawberries and remove the tops.
Invite the strawberries to join the party.
Using one of my favorite tools, kitchen shears, cut the mint leaves off of the stems.
I don't add all of the mint leaves. Notice how the leaves on the right have oxidized (is that the right word?) and are black around the edges. I don't think that will actually change the taste but it does affect how appealing the final result will be.
Sprinkle the mint leaves over the fruit and gently mix.
I added the other gallon of water in this picture but hopefully you did that earlier (unless I totally confused you). If you notice the water becomes cloudy, don't worry about it. It's just little bits of fruit and they should settle at the bottom.
Finally, my famous (at least in my mind) Fancy Water. Very simple, but fragrant, refreshing and can I say it?
Pretty, pretty, pretty.
The flavors get richer as it sits. Your guests will enjoy it and if there is any left you can remove the fruit and store the water in the refrigerator. With the fruit removed the water should keep for about a week.
Now here's the short version of that long story.
• 2 – 3 gallons of water
• 2 oranges
• 2 apples
• 1 lb strawberries
• 1 package of mint
• lemon or lime juice if needed
First, rinse and pat dry the mint. Then rinse and drain the fruit. Pour 2 gallons of the water into the dispenser. Slice the oranges thickly and add to the water. Core the apples and cut them into thick slices. Pat the strawberries dry and cut off their tops. Drop them into the water. Cut off the best mint leaves and also add them to the water. Gently stir. Allow to sit and serve cold.