Try This: Cinnamon Water

When you dine at WoodSpoon restaurant in Los Angeles, the waiter often brings a carafe of ice water with a cinnamon stick inside. It's an unusually refreshing beverage – and one that's easy to make at home, too.

Infused with delicate sweetness and spice, cinnamon water is both earthy and sophisticated. It's delicious alone or with dinner, and we plan to serve it as a festive alternative to plain water at holiday gatherings.

Making cinnamon water requires just two ingredients but you have your choice of techniques. One method is to simply drop a cinnamon (or cassia) stick in a pitcher of water and chill overnight. The water will become infused with subtle flavor; however, it will lack the lovely blush color of the water shown above.

To coax out the color, simmer the cinnamon in a pot of water on the stove; a ratio of 1 cinnamon stick to 1 cup of water works well. (As a bonus, your kitchen will smell amazing!) Cool the liquid and use it as a concentrate to mix with cold water and ice. It's quite good with fizzy water, too.

Related: Simplest of Mixers: 5 Ice Water Add-Ins

(Image: Flickr member D Sharon Pruitt licensed under Creative Commons; Emily Ho)