Herbal Remedies: Flavored Water Gets Fresh

In the sea of rainbow-colored bottled waters that claim to boost our mood, enhance our intelligence, or grant us superpowers, there's a modest but delicious zero-calorie newcomer. 

Ayala's Herbal Water ($24 for 12 bottles; herbalwater.com) is made with culinary herbs and comes in six natural-flavor combinations, like Lavender Mint or Cloves Cardamom Cinnamon. 

Ayala Laufer-Cahana, a mom of three and a former pediatrician, created the water in 2007 after spending years making herbal concoctions for her friends and family from plants in her own backyard. 

"I'd been adding herbs to water for as long as I can remember -- probably since I started cooking. Herbs give the drink a slight nutritional kick and add flavor without calories," she says. 

Her store-bought versions contain nothing but water that comes from an artesian well in Virginia (and undergoes a triple-purification process) and herbs from organic growers; Laufer-Cahana talks about creating flavors with the gravity of a winemaker. 

''It took tons of experimentation to get the right level of sophistication, complexity, and balance in each flavor profile," she says. And like wine, each water has its own mood. (Try Lemon Verbena Geranium with desserts or Ginger Lemon Peel after a run.) 

But don't ask Laufer-Cahana for a favorite. "Lets just say that I love all my kids the same," she says. 


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