Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Agua Fresca (Mexican Fresh Fruit Beverage)

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

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

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.
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.

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.

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