hop water

How to Make Sparkling Hop Water, Plus 3 Simple Mocktail Recipes

The days are warmer. We’re all reaching for the light and warmth of summer, the hope of new growth in our gardens, and healing for the world around us.

This time of year, I would usually reach for a good, crisp IPA (India pale ale). However, due to a recent change in my health journey, I’m limiting alcohol. While I don’t miss the sometimes negative effects it has on me, I do miss enjoying a “special” drink, and I miss the taste of hops!

Then a friend turned me on to hop water—a non-alcoholic, carbonated, hop-infused beverage that is refreshing and hits the spot for that IPA craving, but without adverse effects! As I set out to make my own hop water at home (the store-bought kind can be pretty pricey), I couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t involve complicated methods and require special equipment.

So after some experimentation, I came up with a hop water recipe that is much simpler, more cost effective (under $1 per drink), and just as tasty! I’ve also included three recipes for using your homemade hop water as a base for other refreshing and highly nutritious “mocktails.”

hop water

What Are Hops?

Hops (Humulus lupulus) have a fascinating history. Part of the Cannabaceae family, they are most notably associated with flavoring and preservation of beer, specifically the IPAs (India pale ales). When added to the fermentation process, the female flowers of the plant provide that distinct “hoppy” flavor: earthy, slightly bitter, subtly floral, with notes of citrus.

Hops (in tea or tincture form) are widely known to promote restful sleep and reduce anxiety. But recent studies into the benefits of hops suggest that the plant may be useful in treating symptoms of menopause and aid in digestive health, reducing body fat, allergies, heart health, pain and inflammation, and a host of other things.1 2 (As with any herb or supplement, you should always consult your health care practitioner about using hops in a medicinal way.)

Look for hops at your local herb store, which may sell loose hops flowers by the ounce. If shopping online is your preferred method, you can find hops at Mountain Rose Herbs.

hop water

Homemade Sparkling Hop Water

This recipe makes a concentrated hop “tea” or infusion, which is added to sparkling water to taste.

What you’ll need…

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon whole hops flowers
  • Fresh lemon (optional)
  • Sparkling water (unflavored) to taste
  1. Heat water to about 170 to 175°F (if you have one of those fancy electric tea kettles, you can select the “green tea” setting).
  2. While the water is heating, place the loose hops flowers into a clean teapot or glass measuring cup. I like to use my large Pyrex measuring bowl with pour spout since it’s wide and clear.

hop water

hop water

  1. Pour the hot water over the hops, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes, gently stirring once or twice. The steep time may vary depending on your desired potency. If you like your brew to have a bite and want it really hoppy, the longer the better. If you prefer a more subtle brew, steep for 5 minutes or less. When in doubt, do a taste test!
  2. When the hop tea is brewed to your liking, pour the hop water through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean mason jar. Add a few drops of lemon juice to enhance the flavor, cover with a paper towel or clean dish towel and let the liquid cool down. For quicker cooling, place in the fridge.

hop water

  1. When the tea is cooled, combine it with the sparkling water (about 1 part tea to 2 parts water). Enjoy it straight up, or use it as a base for one of the following herbal mocktails!
  2. Store the remaining tea in the fridge with a secure lid on the mason jar, and use within 5 days.

Yield: About 8 ounces of hop tea

3 Hop Water-Based Mocktail Recipes

hop water


Here’s an herbal twist on the classic mojito, sure to cool you down!

What you’ll need…

  • ⅓ to ½ cup hop tea
  • Sparkling water to taste
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar or other natural sweetener
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 lime wedge
  1. In a glass, combine the hop tea and sparkling water to make your “base.” Adjust the hop tea to water ratio as desired.
  2. In a small glass dish, muddle together the lime juice, sugar, and the leaves of one sprig of mint (5 to 6 leaves). Add this to the hop water base.
  3. Gently bruise the leaves of the remaining sprig of mint to release flavor, and stir it into the glass).

Healing Hop Elixir

This is a powerful anti-inflammatory drink! Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper for an added kick.

What you’ll need…

  • ⅓ to ½ cup of hop tea
  • Sparkling water to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • Juice from 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Orange or lemon slice for garnish
  1. In a glass, combine the hop tea and sparkling water to make your “base.” Adjust the hop tea to water ratio as desired.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to your hop water base.
  3. Embellish with a slice of orange or lemon.

hop water

Berry Hoppy

Fruit forward and thirst quenching, you can’t go wrong combining fresh berries with hop water on a warm summer day!

What you’ll need…

  • ⅓ to ½ cup hop tea
  • Sparkling water to taste
  • Handful of fresh berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or better yet, a combo)
  • ⅓ cup orange or pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar or other natural sweetener (optional)
  • Orange slice or berries for garnish
  1. Combine the hop tea and sparkling water to make your “base.” Adjust the hop tea to water ratio as desired.
  2. Muddle the berries and strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl, saving some pulp.
  3. Add the berry juice and pulp, orange or pomegranate juice, and optional sweetener to the hop water base and stir.
  4. Embellish with a slice of orange or a couple of loose berries in the drink.

Sources used & referenced

  1. Rosalee de la Forêt, “Hops,” HerbMentor, https://herbmentor.learningherbs.com/herb/hops/.
  2. Andrew Weil, “Health Benefits of Hops?,” Andrew Weil, M.D., April 14, 2016, https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/allergy-asthma/health-benefits-of-hops/
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  1. I think I will try mixing this tea with my homemade water kefir which has had lemon added to it for the 2nd fermentation.

    • Ooo! Great idea!

  2. greetings Ms Caitelen,
    going to give this Hop Water a try this weekend!…i usually drink my hops in beer, but here it goes!…lol…
    hopefully it’s as good as Mint Julep tea!…lol…

    • Hi there! I’m so glad you’re giving it a try! Hope you enjoy!

  3. Can I do a quick version of this with hops tincture (because that’s what I have on hand)?

    • As with all LearningHerbs recipes, feel free to use this as a guide and experiment with substitutions to create your ideal hoppy mocktails!

    • Good idea! Will have to try that sometime!

  4. Can you make a tea with fresh hop flowers also? I know of a few places here where hops have naturalized, and would like to pick some of the fresh flowers when they are ready.

    • With most recipes, you may use twice as much fresh herb as dried. Or, you may dry the fresh flowers yourself and use them at the same amount keeping in mind yours will be really vibrant and fresh since the time between picking and using will still be very short. Enjoy!

  5. Where do you get hops? It seems like it would be a great plant to grow!

    • Hi there! Mine came from my local herb store here in Santa Fe, but Mountain Rose herbs is a great online source for dried hop flowers as well!

  6. Unfortunately, it seems like the “download recipe card” link is broken. Thank you for the great recipes though…can’t wait to try them!

    • Hi Cindi! Thanks for letting us know! Hopefully the admin folks here can help with that. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  7. My first batch was really strong as I forgot to set a timer. I cut it using some sparkling mineral water and some of the fizzy beverage marketed as “ICE”. Worked well. Curious as to whether it has the same calorie count and unpleasant effect of beer belly that regular beer has. I certainly don’t want to mindlessly drink it and grow one of those! Thanks for the recipe. It is refreshing and something other than plain water.

  8. I went to my local beer making store to buy hops. Is there a special type I should buy? I bought a multi-purpose kind. I bought store bottle to try, in case it was too bitter. It wasn’t and it was a very refreshing drink. I am excited to make my own to drink.

  9. Often asked the question “How does hops affect the female body.” Hops have an effect on women thanks to phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens – plant compounds that are similar in structure to the main female sex hormone estradiol contained in hop cones, can help solve many health problems arising from changes in hormonal status. In gynecological practice, the use of hop cones is recommended to relieve menstrual cramps and unpleasant manifestations of menopause associated with a lack of estrogen. Hop cones with menopause will be useful in case of excessive irritability, help reduce the intensity of hot flashes, and relieve insomnia.

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