Growing up in California, I was introduced early to a good deal of Mexican food. One of my favorite discoveries as a small child was agua fresca. I will never forget the first time I was handed a glass on a hot, summer’s day and drank deeply of this incredibly refreshing beverage. It was watermelon, still my favorite flavor of agua fresca, though I’ve enjoyed many other delicious versions. It can be done with nearly any fruit, but melons and strawberries always seem to be the most popular flavors. It can also be done with cucumber and lime, though I must admit I haven’t tried that one out. I probably will sometime this summer, because it sounds both interesting and remarkably refreshing.
Anyway, I found an actual recipe (I’d never really used a formal recipe for this before, but the proportions look right and the steps match pretty much what I’d been doing) at a website called What’s 4 Eats, which is devoted to recipes from around the world. Here’s what you do to make agua fresca (fresh water):
3 Cups fresh fruit, coarsly chopped
6-8 Cups water
1/2 – 3/4 Cup sugar, depending on tartness of fruit and personal taste
1/4 Cup lime juice (optional)
1: Add fruit and 2 – 3 Cups of water to a blender and puree well. Strain through a seive into a large pitcher.
2: Add the rest of the water (to the six-cup point) and 1/2 Cup sugar. Stir well. Add more sugar and more water until you reach the desired consistancy and sweetness. Serve chilled. Makes 2 1/2 Quarts.
Trust me, there is nothing better on an icky hot day than agua fresca. In fact, I may make some strawberry today. Mmm…strawberries.