Agua Fresca Three-Ways: Pineapple, Strawberry-Cantaloupe And Peach-Mango
I don’t believe I had ever heard of agua fresca until I came to California. Popular in both Mexico and the United States, “agua fresca” is Spanish for “cool water” and is just that–a cool, water-based drink with various flavor combinations. You can blend fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds with sugar and water and serve them over ice to make light, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages. If you ask me, agua fresca was the original mocktail. At times, you will see large jars of them being peddled by street vendors; more commonly, you will find them in small family-run taquerias.
These flavored waters are bright, beautiful, and refreshing—and a great go-to for summer and any outside get-togethers you may be hosting. The most traditional flavors are tamarind and agua de horchata, but don’t be afraid to play around with other options.
For my recipes, I made a more traditional pineapple flavor, as well as a strawberry-cantaloupe and a lovely, peach-mango blend. The main recipe in each of these flavored frescas is the same: only the fruit and their proportions differ. All of these are on the less sweet side and could not be easier to make. Some other flavor options to consider making are cucumber, watermelon-mint, and pineapple-coconut. I prefer to use flat (filtered tap) water, but you can also use sparkling water if you prefer to spice it up a bit and add an effervescent touch. This is a great way to cool off and stay hydrated. Whip up a batch and keep it ready to go in the refrigerator for those hot Summer afternoons.