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Agua Fresca

By Billa

My go-to drink is water with fresh lime squeezed into it. But sometimes I like to have something different, something with a little more intense flavor, like an agua fresca.

Agua fresca, or Spanish for “fresh water,” is a Mexican drink that is halfway between fruit juices and those waters infused with a vague taste of fruit that you buy in the supermarket.

It’s often made with melon, but not necessarily. It is composed of various ratios of water and fruit, depending on whether or not you prefer a lighter or heavier fruit taste. For example, you might use 4 cups fruit to 2 cups water for a fruity drink. Or, you could use 1 cup fruit for each cup of water for a lighter version, or even 4 cups water to 2 cups fruit. It’s all a matter of personal taste.

There’s usually some lime juice added as well, and sometimes a non-fruit, such as a cucumber or mint. Traditionally, it is sweetened with sugar or honey, although you may prefer not to add any sweetener.

It’s very simple to make: put your chosen ingredients in the blender and blend. Then strain, or not. Add ice if you like.

I’ve been experimenting with different fruits and fruit/water ratios and here are three combinations of agua frescas that I found to my liking:

Agua fresca with water, honeydew, and lime

I made this version with 2 cups diced honeydew, 3 cups water, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice blended together and strained.

The result was very light and refreshing. The husband commented that he found it too watery and would have preferred a more pronounced honeydew taste. But I liked it.

Agua fresca with pineapple, water, cucumber, and mint

In deference to the husband’s comment regarding Version 1, for the next version I decided to increase the fruit to water ratio. So, I used 2 cups pineapple and 2 cups water plus 1/2 greenhouse cucumber, and 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves.

The consensus: it was excellent. Way more flavor than Version 1. I thought I’d like the lighter drink better, but no. This was my new favorite agua fresca.

Agua fresca with watermelon, water, strawberries, and lime juice

The next night, I was making agua fresca for company. So, considering how much better Version 2 was than Version 1, I decided to up the ratio of fruit to water even more. This time I used 5 cups watermelon, 1 cup strawberries, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and only 2 cups water.

The result, I thought, was pretty good, probably the best one so far. Everyone else seemed to like it too. “Refreshing” and “Excellent” were a couple of comments. There was also a suggestion to add Prosecco, gin, or vodka to it. Maybe that’ll be a future blog.


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