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.