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Strawberry Aguas Frescas

Agua fresca recipes create refreshing Mexican-style drinks to quench kids’ summer thirst

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Few drinks offer as refreshing and delicious a way to quench your thirst on a summer day as a cold agua fresca.

The nonalcoholic drinks, rooted in Mexico — agua fresca is Spanish for “fresh water” — are typically made with puréed fruit. Traditionally the ingredients are ground by hand, but these days, most people opt to use a blender.

Fruit options are almost limitless. (Some aguas frescas, including horchata, use grains, such as rice.) If you can find it at your grocery store or farmers market, you’re in business: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydews, strawberries, tamarind, peaches, pineapples, mango, papaya and cucumbers are popular choices.

While these drinks are wonderful right out of the blender, making them a few hours in advance allows the flavors to intensify and the drinks to get colder as they mellow in the refrigerator. If the drink starts to separate, just give it another quick pulse in the blender or stir with a spoon.

Pour in a glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or basil, and you’re ready for a mouthful of cool breeze.

-William Porter

Where to buy aguas frescas

Don’t feel like making your own aguas frescas? You can find them at a number of Mile High Mexican restaurants. Here are four:

El Farolito, 1593 Peoria St., Aurora, 303-367-2738

El Taco Veloz, 400 Federal Blvd., 303-825-2882

Las Tortugas, 1549 W. Alameda Ave., 303-744-0767

Zapata’s, 740 Peoria St., Aurora, 303-340-0565

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Watermelon Aguas Frescas

Watermelon Aguas Frescas

Agua Fresca recipes

Watermelon Agua Fresca

From allrecipes.com. Serves 8.

Ingredients

4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon

½ cup water

½ cup white sugar, or to taste

4 slices lime

24 fresh mint leaves

Ice

Directions

Purée the watermelon and water in a blender until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Cut the lime slices in half. Place half a lime slice into each of 8 glasses along with 3 mint leaves. Crush with a cocktail muddler, then fill each glass with ice. Pour in the watermelon juice and stir before serving.

Strawberry Aguas Frescas

Strawberry Aguas Frescas

Strawberry Agua Fresca

From myrecipes.com. Serves 8.

Ingredients

4 cups water

½ cup sugar

6 cups hulled strawberries

¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

Directions

Combine water and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place strawberries in a blender, processing until smooth. Combine the sugar mixture with the strawberry purée and lime juice. Stir well and serve.

Cucumber Agua Fresca

From Bon Appétit magazine. Serves 8.

Ingredients

4½ cups coarsely chopped, seeded and peeled cucumbers (about 4 medium), divided

4 cups cold water, divided

1 cup sugar, divided

½ cup-plus fresh lime juice, divided

1 pinch of salt

Ice cubes

Directions

Combine 2¼ cups of the chopped cucumber, 2 cups of water, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup lime juice, salt and 1 cup ice cubes in a blender. Blend until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth but slushy, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining cucumbers, 2 cups water, sugar, lime juice and 1 cup ice cubes. Fill 8 glasses with ice cubes and pour in the cucumber drink.

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower)

From mexicoinmykitchen.com. Makes 2 quarts. Hibiscus flowers are available in Latin grocery stores and most herb/spice shops.

Ingredients

1¼ cup dried jamaica/hibiscus flowers

3 cups water

4 cups of water to make 2 quarts of the final drink

½ cup sugar

Ice cubes

Directions

Place the flowers in a small pot with 3 cups of water. Bring them to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Set aside for at least 4 hours to steep. (You can also do this overnight.) Strain the liquid into a pitcher and add the 4 cups of water and sugar. You can adjust the water if it tastes too tart. Stir, add ice cubes and let chill.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Jane July 10, 2013

    Never tried these but they look amazing. Might have to check out the restaurants first to see what they really taste like. :)

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