This summer has been too hot and too dry. Now nature is four weeks ahead of normal years, showing early signs of fall. On top of this a heat wave has been hitting Germany since last week, today marking a new high of 35°Celsius (95° Fahrenheit). This might not sound like much, but most offices and homes around here do not have air conditioning. Temperature in my office at work were 29°C (84°F) in the morning and 32°C (89°F) in the afternoon, with windows closed and fans blowing. My bedroom is a steady 27°C (80°F) and reminds me of fabulous vacations at beautiful beaches in Thailand.

Of course drinking enough is crucial in this weather, but even though I like drinking water, at some point I am just done with it. Sodas are way to sweet for me, and mixing juice with sparkling water (called “Schorle” in German) still is too much sugar after two or three glasses. I had watermelon and basil around, so I tried Jamie Oliver’s recipe for flavored water: smashed watermelon, basil and a bit of lime. I prepared it the night before, put it in the fridge and kept refilling it at the sparkling water station provided at work. The taste was interesting and fun, not too sweet and the basil added an unexpected aspect of flavor that kept me going back for more refills—at least six! After this success I prepared another bottle of flavored water with different mints: Moroccan, apple, and lemon from the apartment garden (since I was out of basil). I added watermelon and lime. While the result in the picture looks pretty, the version with smashed watermelon and basil was much more intriguing and I highly recommend it.


Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe for flavored water:

Fill a 1 liter /33-ounce bottle with water and mix in:

  • 1 slice smashed watermelon,
  • a large sprig of basil * I like the classic Genovese variety with large leaves and lots of aroma, but any will be fine
  • a squeeze of lime * do not skip this step-it makes all the difference
  • Refrigerate overnight for an intense flavor.

Play around with the water/melon/basil/lime ratio and make it your.

Enjoy and happy cooling off !

PS: Let me know, if you tried it and how you like it.