International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Agua Fresca

Agua Fresca Recipe (Mexican fresh fruit beverage)

(Mexican fresh fruit beverage)

Image Creative Commons by Eric Heath

4
Average: 3.9 (61 votes)

Aguas frescas are fresh fruit drinks that are very popular all over Mexico. These refreshing beverages are typically served from large barrel-shaped glass containers. Some of the more traditional varieties are watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberry.

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

  • Fresh fruit (see notes), chopped coarsely -- 3 cups
  • Water -- 6-8 cups
  • Sugar -- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Lime juice (optional) -- 1/4 cup

Method

  1. Add the fruit and 2-3 cups of the water to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher.
  2. Add the rest of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and lime juice if using. Stir well and add more water and sugar as needed. Serve well chilled.

Variations

  • Agua de Fresa: Use strawberries.
  • Agua de Jamaica: see Sorrel Punch recipe.
  • Agua de Melón: Use cantaloupe or any other melon.
  • Agua de Papaya: Use papaya. The addition of lime juice makes a tastier beverage here.
  • Agua de Sandía: Use watermelon.
  • Agua Fresca de Pepino: Use peeled, seeded cucumbers and lime juice. Cut down on the sugar. Very refreshing.
  • The lime juice is not required, but can add a welcome tartness to some aguas frescas.

Comments

Mexican street vendors often strain the agua fresca through a sieve after blending. You can ask that they not do this; no reason not to drink the pulp.

If you're going to strain it, you can put the lime in the blender with its peel. The flavor is more intense. Don't do this unless you will strain it after blending.

You can combine fruits for different flavors.

I don't put sugar in agua fresca. Mexican street vendors typically put sugar but you can ask them to leave it out. To me, the fruit is already sweet enough, and the version without sugar is healthier.

This is one of my favorite drinks.

I had many variations of this while in El Salvador, it was always room temperture though, which probably robbed it of some of its goodness.

A Mexican caterer gave me a recipe similar to this one but used powered sugar and added a can of pet milk to the melon/water mixture. It is very tasty and of course a little creamy. If one likes iced beverages, just cut down on water and serve over crushed ice.