It’s hot. Yes, I’m using my post to complain about the humid, suffocating heat of mid-Alabama. Being an avid runner and yoga enthusiast, I love my body’s natural air-conditioning—sweat. However, my daily walk in stilettos from the parking garage to my cramped office cubicle should not leave me wiping the sweat off my powdered brow. I’ve tried the standard cool-down procedures—homemade paper fans, Gatorade, splashing cool water on my face, and of course, complaining. Countless trial-and-error remedies have led me to the secret of staying cool in the summer…mint-infused water.

No, this isn’t a joke. It really is that simple. Simply grab a handful of your favorite fresh mint—spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, or traditional mint, tear leaves, and add to a big glass of ice water. Before sipping, inhale the sweet aroma, and feel the body rejuvenate. Take a sip, and bask in the cooling sensation that seemingly melts away stress. Need more mint? Bruise the leaves to intensify flavor before adding to your glass. Don't be stingy with this great secret, whip-out your cool-down trick at a summer garden party or a birthday pool party. The best part, serving mint water in a pitcher enables you to reuse the mint each time you refill it with water.

Let your creative juices flow to create personalized cooling-sippers. Try these recommended flavor combinations, and use them as a guide to create a beverage that pleases your palate.

-Cucumber-infused water: Remove skin, slice, and add to water.
-Watermelon-mint water: Follow the mint procedure, but add fresh watermelon. Not only does it taste great, but it looks beautiful too.
-Rosemary-lime water: Sounds unusual, but it awakens taste buds to new and exciting flavor combinations.
-Herb-Infused Spa Water: A Sunset magazine exclusive, blending cucumber, mint, rosemary, and lemon.