Especially during the holidays, many people like to raise a glass to toast to the season or to the new year ahead. But even if you’re avoiding alcohol for health reasons, you don’t need to avoid a toast! This festive infused water “mocktail” (that’s “mock” + “cocktail”) is a delightful option for celebrating the holidays, and it’s equally delicious for everyday sipping.

Our bodies require water for survival, and hydration is crucial for good health. Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to function properly. Hydration has numerous health benefits. From relieving fatigue and improving mood to aiding in digestion and flushing toxins from our bodies, it’s important to drink up! But unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough water: as many as 75% of Americans drink well below the recommended levels.

Juice and fizzy sodas can be hydrating, but the artificial ingredients and unnecessary sugar outweigh any hydration benefits. Infused waters like this one are the ultimate calorie and sugar-free sip. It’s an easy and fun way to increase water intake. Plus, one good habit leads to another: people who drink more water tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more and eat less fast food.

Infusing water is simple! All you need to do is place your ingredients in a 32-ounce container — we suggest a mason jar — and fill with 22 ounces of purified water. Stir gently, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; the longer you infuse, the more intense the flavor. Store your infused water in refrigerator up to three days.

The seasonal cinnamon and vanilla bean flavors are a good match for the tart pear. Light, refreshing and festive, this is “mocktail” is a good choice for a nutrition-conscious option at a holiday party. Cheers to health!

Festive holiday mocktail: Pear Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Infused Water

Serves four

Ingredients

  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 22 ounces of purified water

Instructions

  1. Split the vanilla bean down its length using a paring knife. (Reserve the other half for another recipe or another batch of infused water).
  2. Place four pear slices, cinnamon stick and half vanilla bean in a 32-ounce container.
  3. Fill with purified water.
  4. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to three days.

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