How can I make tap water tastier?

When it comes to cold bevs, I favor iced tea, fizzy water, and the occasional ginger ale or cola. However, as I’m down with my monthly case of the flats (ie, flat pockets, flat wallet and flat-out empty checking account) and my supply of tea is exhausted, I’m reduced to drinking tap water, neat, for the next few days.

Problem is, drinking plain ol’ faucet water gets old in a hurry; it’s such a *dull *drink! I try to get around that by making sure I have some around that’s plenty cold at all times, and doctoring it with the merest squirt of lemon juice; the latter does wonders to freshen up the flavor. But I’d appreciate a little more variety.

So, I’m just wondering aloud, as it were, if there’s anything other than lemon juice I could try spiking my kitchen-sink drinks with. This is Cafe Society, a place known to harbor discriminating palates, so I hereby invite your suggestions and recommendations for making tap water more interesting and palatable. Thanks!

Take any sealable cylindrical bottle, fill it one-third full. Cap it and lay it on it’s side with the cap end slightly elevated in your freezer. Once it freezes, take it out and fill the remainder with water. You’ll have ice cold water for an hour or more depending on the size of the container.
My staff and I live off these things. We freeze anything from a pint to a gallon or more. Drinking ice water is yummy. You’ll stay better hydrated. If your tap water is less than stellar, the cold will make it more palatable.
Just to head them off, the risk from refreezing bottles is tiny. I’ll let the dopers tell you how much.

It sounds strange but I have found that drinking cold water from a tin cup makes the water taste better.

A Brita is probably a better alternative. The key to lemon in water is not too much, otherwise it gets bitter.

Scotch? :smiley:

touch of lime juice, some mint leaves, lemon verbena leaves, rose petals [non pesitcide ones, it helps if you grow roses or know someone that does so you can make sure that no pesticides are on it] twist of fresh lemon,lime or orange peel, slice of fresh ginger, slice of candied ginger.

I’m thinking that would end up tasting like somebody’s grandmothers candle shelf.

Crystal Light. Lemon and Splenda. Lime and Splenda. Koolaid with Splenda.

I’m going to share a secret that will either be immensely invaluable to you or completely useless.

You have complete control over your enjoyment of water through the power of imagination. If you think of how cool and refreshing the first sip of water is after a 30 mile trek out of a desert in 130 degree heat, you can get that feeling each and every time you enjoy a glass of water. Or, if you prefer, imagine coming off a sixteen hour shift fighting a wildfire.

If the water seems less than tasty, set it down for an hour. Then take a sip. If still dull, repeat. Eventually, that water will taste damn good.

But the freezer thing works too.

Mint does wonders for water, if you can get your hands on some with your money situation. I generally suck on an Altoid when I’m drinking water, and it tastes excellent regardless of the quality of the water.

Can you borrow a tea bag?

Slice of cucumber.

A lot of fruits will give a nice refreshing change to water. An apple slice is subtle. An orange is ok, but usually gives a somewhat bitter flavor for me, so you might sprinkle a little sugar in if you try that. Plum and peach are both nice, you can always remove the skin if you don’t like it in the water. I haven’t tried pineapple but might be nice. Lemon is also my favorite, if I have time I freeze some of the pulp and zest inside ice cubes to add to my water, very yummy.

Fresh fruit can be relatively inexpensive if you find nice summer sales, or have a good farmer’s market nearby.

Not all at once, silly! Those are some great ideas, taken one at a time.

There are a few essential oils that can be drunk, very dilute, in water. I like to add 1 drop of peppermint essential oil to a half gallon, or even gallon, of water and refrigerate it. Shake it up before serving, and it’s really really cheap mint water, and you don’t have to worry about keeping a mint plant alive to enjoy it!

The same can be done with essential oils of lavender, lemon, lemongrass, ginger, clove, chocolate (that’s real cocoa absolute - not perfume oil!), orange, blood orange, tangerine… I use higher end organic essential oils for this, and the bottle can be pricey for the initial outlay, but since you’re using a single drop in a gallon of water, it goes a very long way.

I usually add a little fruit juice so it’s very dilute but you can still taste it. I also agree that the colder the better.

One really simple trick that helps.

Those little bottles of flavor extract that people use for candy. They are powerful, so all you have to do is dip in a toothpick, then swirl the toothpick in your glass. They will last for several hundred glasses, and make your water a bit less boring.

I popped in to suggest the Brita or similar products - it’ll cost 20ish bucks for a pitcher and a few dollars every few months for a replacement filter, but cheaper than soda. Our tap water is undrinkable without being filtered.

I haven’t tried a tin cup, but a glass as opposed to a plastic tumbler definitely tastes better to me.

LOL, not all at once, these are just things that can be infused into water to make it flavored =)

Propel comes in powder form, and while Lemon has a bit of an aftertaste, Grape & Kiwi-Strawberry are awesome. Whenever I travel, I carry a lot of the little packs with me and add it to all the water I encounter or take with me…

There’s some excellent sounding ideas being offered in this thread, and I’m gonna try a bunch of them just as soon as the chance arises. The ones involving fresh ginger and mint sounded especially tempting. In fact when I went to the farmers market downtown today, to get some green stuff for our little pet birdies, I sprung for a bunch of mint leaves (they were marked at a mere fifty cents and the nice man in the booth gave me mine for a quarter on account of it was gettin late in the day) and as soon as my jar of water in the fridge is cold enough to drink, I will mash 2 or 3 fresh, fragrant leaves in it first.

And Controvert, I will definitely be following your recommendation too. I have been stuck on a highway in the middle of a desert more than once, back in my hitchhiking days, which gives me some vivid memories to work with. There’s just nothing better than actually being really thirsty for a while (as opposed to being just a little dry after mowing the lawn) to hone one’s awareness that plain old H2O is truly grand stuff.