These refreshing Mexican Aguas Frescas are guaranteed to help you beat the heat. Strawberry-watermelon, pineapple-vanilla, and cucumber-mint. Pick the one you like or try all of them!
In my last post I told you about my secret recipe for beating the heat - the wonderful cold beet soup. While it is really amazing, you can't just sit and drink (or eat?) it all day long! What I want to tell here is that you need some sort of refreshing drinks. Something to keep you hydrated. Forget about the coke or other not-so-healthy sugar loaded drinks. If you love your body, you won't have them too often. Sometimes is fine, but don't overuse it (it's coming from a guy who was a number 1 coke fan for many years). Also, I don't think that these carbonated sugar-loaded beverages are good at quenching your thirst. You just want them more and more after the first sip.
About half a year ago I shared this Russian Mors (cranberry drink) recipe on this blog. It's perfect for killing the thirst and it's super healthy. I make it quite often, but there are no cranberries this time of the year. Either you use frozen ones or forget about it until late summer. I had to find a way to use fresh berries and fruit that you can find right now at farmers' markets. And I did it! Two words: Agua Fresca. It means "fresh waters" from Spanish and it's mostly popular in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Usually these refreshing beverages are sold by street vendors, but, for example, in Mexico you can find them everywhere!
Agua Fresca is basically made of water, fruit or berries, and sugar. All these ingredients are blended together, and that's it. Sometimes various herbs (basil, mint, cilantro and other) are also added. Oh and don't forget the ice. Lots of it! There are thousands of Agua Fresca varieties available. You can add and blend anything you want actually. Feel free to experiment!
I made three different versions: strawberry-watermelon with basil, pineapple-vanilla, and cucumber-mint. All these Agua Frescas are fantastic. Strawberry & watermelon is so rich, with a delicate flavor of basil. Pineapple and vanilla is a combination made in heaven! Cucumber and mint agua fresca is so refreshing. I don't know which one I enjoyed the most because they are all so different and so good! You have to try them by yourself and find out which one is your favorite. With these drinks summer heat is not a threat anymore!
3 Refreshing Agua Frescas to Beat the Heat
For the strawberry-watermelon agua fresca: (serves 2)
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ½ teaspoon lime juice
- 4 sprigs basil
- agave nectar or cane sugar to taste
- ice cubes
For the pineapple-vanilla agua fresca: (serves 4)
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh pineapple
- 3 cups cold water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar , or more if needed
- ice cubes
For the cucumber-mint agua fresca: (serves 4)
- 1 lb (450g) cucumbers
- 6 cups water , divided
- ¼ cup fresh mint , chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ice cubes
- The strawberry-watermelon recipe. Add the watermelon, strawberries, lime juice, and basil to the blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Taste, and add agave nectar or cane sugar, if needed. Serve chilled over ice.
- The pineapple-vanilla recipe. Add the pineapple, water, vanilla, and sugar to the blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a colander. Discard the solids. Add more sugar, if needed. Serve chilled over ice.
- The cucumber-mint recipe. Add cucumbers, 2 cups water, and mint to the blende, and blend until smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes to steep. Strain through a colander. Discard the solids. Add the remaining water, sugar, and lime juice. Add more sugar, if needed. Serve chilled over ice. Enjoy!