Aguas Frescas

Thursday, Jul 7 2011 Cooking!

After your party devours half a watermelon for the evening, the remainder inadvertently sits untouched for some time, maybe eventually abandoned to the fridge, just hoping for another chance. If that condition plagues your watermelon in these early days of summer, I implore you to turn it’s sweet pink flesh into the classic, fresh, south-of-the-border beverage, aguas frescas. Sweet, non-alcoholic fruit coolers, agues frescos (translated, means fresh waters), is a sure bet to beat the summer heat and quench your barbecue thirst. Usually just fruit, water and sugar (with just a hint of lime juice), this beverage is a fabulous way to use past-it’s-prime or not quite perfect summer fruit and serves as a fabulous accompaniment to a plate of spicy tacos. My favorite so far is strawberry and watermelon (it truly tastes like summer, trust me), but aguas frescas can be used with any of the fruits that are in abundance this season. When you go for fresh and ripe, beverage bliss awaits.

Aguas de Fresa y Sandía watermelon and strawberries

1/2 watermelon, rough chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
8 cups water
few mint leaves
juice of 1 lime
15 drops stevia, or 1/4 cup sugar (or more, to taste, depending on the sweetness of your fruit)

Basic Aguas Frescas for any fruit

3 cups fresh fruit
8 cups water
sugar, 1/4 cup or more to taste
Juice of 1 lime (optional)


Place fruit, 2 cups water, sweetener and lime juice in a blender, until smooth. Add to a pitcher with remaining water. For a smoother aguas frescas, pour through a strainer or cheesecloth. I don’t mind mine a bit thicker, it ends up having a velvety consistency.

Serve over glasses with ice. Sit/lay in the sun. Savor summer sweetness.

Some other options:
Agua de Fresa: strawberries
Agua de Melón: cantaloupe or other melon
Agua de Sandía: watermelon (optional: add 1/4 cup fresh mint)
Agua Fresca de Pepino: peeled, seeded cucumbers and lime juice. Use less sugar.
Agua de Limón: lime. Will need more sweet stuff.
Agua de Jamaica: hibiscus flowers
Agua de Horchata: rice


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  1. These look amazing. I was recently at Por Que No? and had a super yummy cucumber-coconut aguas frescas. Have been wanting to try it at home but haven’t bothered to track down/whip up a recipe. I wonder if it had lime, as well. Yums.

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