Grandma's simple fruit flavored water recipes were favored long before the current popularity of infused water beverages.
Since ancient times, people of every culture have enjoyed the wholesome simplicity of waters naturally flavored with fruit and grains. Enjoy!
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Slice three large pippin apples, or another variety of apples, and pour over them a pint of boiling water, set in a cool place, when perfectly cold, sweeten it to the taste, but only if preferred.
Mint leaves, chopped, 1/2 cup; tartaric acid, 1 teaspoonful; white sugar, 1/2 cup, or to taste; water, 2 cups.
Mix ingredients thoroughly, strain mixture through a cloth and squeeze out any excess juice from pulp, and add water to make 6 cups. Chill.
Red rose petals, 1-1/2 cups; water, 1/2 pint; sugar, 1 cup; whole cloves to taste. Put ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
Cool and strain into clean bottles, and keep cool. Add 2 ounces to a glass of soda water or use in iced tea.
6 large teaspoons black currant jam, 1 pint of boiling water. Pour the water over the jam, stir well, and stand until cold. Strain if necessary.
The Complete Confectioner, Pastry Cook, and Baker (1864)
Pound the cherries with the stones to obtain the flavor of the kernel, and press out the juice through a fine sieve, add a little water to it and give it a boil.
Then filter it through a flannel bag; add some simple syrup, a little lemon juice, and water to make it palatable, but rich, although not too sweet, which is often the fault with these; ice as wine, and serve. Apricot and peach water made as cherry water.
Mash either of these fruits when ripe, and press out the juice through a fine sieve, add a little water to it, and give it a boil.
Then filter it through a flannel bag, add some simple syrup, a little lemon juice, and water, to make it palatable, but rich, although not too sweet, which is often the fault with these; ice them the same as wine, and serve.
Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)
Put in a tumbler a tablespoonful of current jelly, and a tablespoonful of wine; mix them well together, then fill the glass with ice water. If feverish, leave out the wine.
One large ripe pineapple, 1 pint of boiling simple syrup, juice of 1 lemon. Peel the pineapple, slice, and mash it well in a basin, then pour on the simple syrup and lemon juice; stir well and cover. Let it stand 2 hours, then filter through a fine silk sieve, and add a quart of spring water.
Dr. Chase's Receipt Book (1891)
Mash a few currants, and pour on them a little water, strain, sweeten, and add sufficient cold water to suit the taste, though it is best to use the currants pretty freely, and sugar accordingly, as the acid of the currant makes this drink peculiarly grateful to the sick as well as those in health, satisfying the thirst of either.
Currant jelly in cold water makes a good substitute for currants and is next to that of tamarinds, which is undoubtedly the best to allay the thirst of fever patients of anything known. Lemons do very well also. —Dr. Chase
Mrs. Goodfellow's Cookery As It Should Be (1865)
A small cupful of dried peaches washed carefully; put them into a pint pitcher, and pour on one pint of boiling water; cover tightly, and when quite cold strain.
Miss Beecher's Housekeeper and Healthkeeper (1873)
Pour boiling water on mashed cranberries, or grated apples, or tamarinds, or mashed currants, or raspberries; pour off the water, sweeten to taste, and in summer cool with ice.
Wash two tablespoonfuls of rice, put on to boil with two cups of water and a pinch of salt; strain and set on ice. —Aunt Babette's Cook Book, 1889
Take slices of brown toast (be careful not to have them burned), pour boiling water over them, cover closely and steep until cold. Strain and sweeten and add ice. —Lee's Priceless Recipes, 1895
For the field or workshop, nourishing as well as allaying thirst. Make oatmeal into a thin gruel; then add a little salt, and sugar to taste, with a little grated nutmeg, well stirred in while yet warm.
Remarks. —If the above plan is too much trouble, although it is, indeed, very nourishing and satisfactory, take the Scotch plan of stirring raw oatmeal into the bucket of cold water and stir when dipped up to drink.
As near as I could judge, 1/2 to 1 pint was stirred into a common 12-quart pail. —Dr. Chase's Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book, 1891
I drank of this at the building of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, which I visited with my son while in New York in the Centennial year of 1876, on our way to Philadelphia, and we were highly pleased with it.
The workmen freely drank of it, preferring it to plain water very much. —Dr. Chase
Take a handful of either pearl barley, or the common sort, wash it, first in cold and afterwards in boiling water, then simmer it in a quart of water for an hour; when half-done, put into it a bit of fresh lemon peel and a little sugar; cool with ice. Rice water may be prepared as above. —Wright's Book of 3000 Practical Receipts, 1869