Top Pick Of The Week

January 6, 2009
Updated November 2009

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Ayala's Herbal Water

Organic-certified flavored water, infused with herbs, spices and some citrus, are a smash! Photography courtesy of Ayala’s Herbal Water.

WHAT IT IS: Unsweetened bottled water flavored with herbs and spices.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Beyond the herb and spice flavors, it’s the first national line of flavored water that’s organically-certified.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The sophisticated infusions of lavender, lemongrass, thyme and jasmine elevate flavored water to a new level.
WHERE TO BUY IT: and retailers nationwide, including Central Market, Food Emporium, Giant, HEB, Raley’s, Safeway, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market and many natural food and specialty food stores.

Ayala’s Herbal Water: Zero Calories, Mega Excitement

CAPSULE REPORT: Several years ago we had an idea for a line of waters flavored with herbs and spices. We sought advice from a couple of bottled water experts, and were told that we’d never get such a product to market—the segment was too tiny, retailers wouldn’t make space for it, and so forth. We were thus truly delighted to run into Ayala’s Herbal Water at a food show last summer. Ayala either had better advisors, or didn’t listen to anyone at all.

Ayala’s infuses organic garden herbs, blended with spices and citrus peel, into purified water—with dazzling results. Innovative in flavor profile, it is the first nationally available, organically certified, flavored water. If you like unsweetened fruit-flavored waters, herb and spice flavors open up an exciting new perspective. If you don’t like fruit flavors, herbs are far more sophisticated.

Flavors include Cinnamon Orange Peel, Clove Cardamom Cinnamon, Ginger Lemon Peel, Jasmine Vanilla, Lavender Mint Lemongrass Thyme and Lemongrass Mint Vanilla. While the names are a mouthful, the mouthful is calorie-free, sodium-free, healthy, hydrating and wonderfully fragrant and flavorful.

Ayala’s Herbal Water is a refreshment, but it also pairs well with food. Thus, it’s a boon to people seeking an alternative to wine, beer or cocktails, who want to cut calories in general, or who simply want a more interesting water with their food. Give a case as a New Year’s gift to anyone embarking on a weight loss mission, or as a Valentine gift to people who’d be be better off if you didn’t give them chocolate.

There’s a store locator on the company website, and major retailers have embraced herbal water, proving our original naysayers wrong. You can also buy Ayala’s online with free ground shipping. And, to sweeten the deal, for a limited time there’s $5 off on your order if you sign up for the company newsletter. That makes a case of 12 bottles just $19. How can you resist? Read the full review below.
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Learn More About Herbs & Spices

Herbs & Spices The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices The Spice and Herb Bible
Herbs & Spices: The Cook’s Reference, by Jill Norman (Editor). Flavor profiles of herbs and spices, with history, cooking techniques, recipes, herb blends and food pairings. Clear and colorful photos. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices: Seasonings for the Global Kitchen, by Tony Hill. An enthusiastic reference of 350 spices and herbs, with 75 different recipes and 200 color photos. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Spice and Herb Bible, by Ian Hemphill and Kate Hemphill. At 608 pages, this hefty book is a most comprehensive guide, with page after page of colorful photographs. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Ayala’s Herbal Water: Zero Calories, Mega Excitement


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Introduction To Ayala’s Herbal Water

Herbs and spices are fragrant, they’re tasty, and they’re a rich source of antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals. Many herbs have even higher antioxidant values than fruits and vegetables— although it’s easier to eat a cup of broccoli than a cup of tarragon (see more about high-antioxidant foods).

Ayala Laufer Cahana is a pediatrician and mom who created the line of flavored waters at home to address two key indicators.

  • Weight Management. A significant amount of the extra calories we ingest come from sugar and high fructose corn syrup in beverages, which are consumed not just by children but by two-thirds of adults. Just switching from 16 ounces of carbonated beverage or juice a day to a non-sugared beverage adds up to losing about half a pound a week. That’s two pounds per month. (A single can of soda is 12 ounces.)
  • Reduction Of Chemical Intake. For people who want to reduce their intake of chemicals, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, while are calorie-free, are synthetic chemicals. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers them safe in small amounts, concerns about their safety persist. (Read more about artificial sweeteners.) The water has no chemical sweetener—the herbs and spices are so flavorful, no sweetener is needed. The line is also USDA certified organic, assuring that no chemical pesticides have been used (read more about organic certification).

In the process, she created perhaps the most innovative line of flavored waters on the market today. Based on the water’s appeal to family and friends, Dr. Cahana and her husband decided to “go public” with the line.


Ginger Lemon Peel

Ayala’s Ginger Lemon Peel Herbal Water is delicious with Chinese and other Asian cuisines, chicken, fish and seafood.

Ayala’s Herbal Water has zero calories and zero artificial anything. The flavor and aroma comes from infusions of naturally fragrant blends of real herbs, spices and citrus peel. And the complex blends are much more interesting than even the dual fruit notes (strawberry kiwi, for example) on the market. Read about the individual flavors, and how we pair them with different foods, on the next page.

Continue To Page 2: Flavors Of Ayala’s Herbal Water

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