“Rita looked disparagingly at Luna. “I’m guessing your father runs some stupid little village newsletter?” she said. “‘Twenty-five Ways to Mingle with Muggles’ and the dates of the next Bring-and-Fly-Sale” “No,” said Luna, dipping her onion back into her gillywater, “he’s the editor of The Quibbler.”” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
What is Gillywater?
Though it’s not clear exactly what the book version of Gillywater is comprised of, one can assume that it likely includes a base of gillyweed and water. In the books, gillyweed is a magical plant that, when eaten, temporarily “gives the consumer gills, allowing them to breathe underwater, and webbing between the fingers and toes, allowing them to swim underwater with ease.”
In book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dobby gives Harry Gillyweed before the second task of the Triwizard Tournament so that he can dive into the Black Lake to rescue the captives. It is described as resembling “a bundle of slimy, grey-green rat tails.”
A delicious version for Muggles
Because gillyweed doesn’t exist outside of the Harry Potter world, my version includes an infusion of fresh cucumber in place of the “slimy, grey-green rat tails” combined with mint, lime, and your choice of sparkling or flat water. My version won’t give you gills or webbed toes, but it’s delicious and refreshing on a warm day while you devour the Harry Potter books for the thousandth time.
I used both a channel knife/zester combo and a vegetable peeler to prepare the cucumber for this recipe, but either works great if you only have one or the other. If neither of these are handy, you can simply slice the cucumbers, mint, and lime with a traditional prep knife and still enjoy the same infused flavors without the Harry Potter flair.
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A note for special diets
This Gillywater recipe is grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and friendly for Paleo, Keto, Low-FODMAP, Whole30, and Vegan diets.
Yield 1 gallon
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 cup mint sprigs
- 2 limes
- 1 galllon flat or sparkling water
- Using a channel knife or vegetable peeler, peel the cucumber lengthwise reserving both the peel and the flesh until you reach the seedy middle, then stop.
- Using a citrus peeler, peel the zest from the limes into curls if desired (you may omit these). Juice the limes and reserve.
- Add the cucumber peel, springs of mint, and lime juice and zest to a large pitcher, then add cold water to top.
- The longer the fruit steeps in the water, the more flavor is infused. If using flat water you can allow the ingredients to mingle for 30 minutes in the fridge first. However, if you are using sparkling water, I would choose to serve immediately to retain the carbonation.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
Courses Drinks & Libations
Serving Size 8oz
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.