As soon as the weather warms up, our drinks cool down. Out come the frappicinos, the cold brew coffees, the lemonades and even the Agua Frescas!
What is an Agua Fresco, you ask? Well, let me tell you. They are the fruit waters that are popular in Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well as Spain and Portugal. At their most basic, they are fruit blended with water, sugar, honey and lime juice. The amount of sugar and honey will depend on the sweetness of the fruit, but the lime juice is crucial to bringing freshness to the perhaps one dimensional sweetness of most fruit. I had already been blending watermelon for drinking, but never thought to add the lime and honey to it. My goodness what a difference those two ingredients made. That basic juice now became something guest-worthy. Perfect for a summer brunch spread! In fact for a special brunch think about pouring a bit of your agua fresca into a champagne glass and then top with sparkling wine! How festive!
Once blended and popped into a pitcher, these keep in the fridge and just need a quick stir before serving. And because they are just fruit and water, they are perfect for every member of the family. But of course, that doesn’t mean that agua fresca can’t be spiked! What could be better than a watermelon juice, all frothy and cold with perhaps a hit of mint or basil, than a frothy watermelon juice spiked with tequila!! So yes, this can be as adulty as you would like.
All you really need is a good blender and a knife. Oh, and a reamer. But if you don’t have a reamer, here’s a quick tip for squeezing fresh limes or lemons: put half of one inside the tips of a good, sturdy pair of tongs. And squeeze! Those tongs give you the extra necessary leverage to extract way more juice than you could probably get from using a reamer or manual juicer.
So today, I’m sharing my favourite agua frescas: melon! Cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon, each of these works perfectly with the recipe below. Serve these over ice, or blended lemonade for a perfect chilled summer drink.
And if you want to spike these, why not try these variations: Tequila and basil garnish for the watermelon fresca; Vodka and thyme garnish for the cantaloupe fresca; or gin and mint garnish for the honeydew fresca. Pitchers of these served on the patio, and there is really nothing more needed for a sultry summer eve. All you need are some fresh crostini like these cherry and ricotta ones here! Enjoy, and drink responsibly 🙂
Melon Agua Fresca
Summer in a glass! Melon chunks are blended with sugar, honey, and lime juice. Perfect on it own, or even spiked for a fresh summer cocktail.
- 10 cups packed, melon cubes alternatively, use 1 whole small melon, seeded and cubed
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- 1 cup lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup runny honey
Place all the ingredients plus 1 cup of cold filtered water into a blender
Puree at hight speed until everything is very smooth. You may need to work in batches to incorporate all the melon cubes.
Placed the blended juice into a pitcher and add ice. Serve.
Feel free to adjust the sugar and honey depending on how sweet your melon is. If you find it too thick, just add more water and blend again.
These juice blends work perfectly as a cocktail base. Play with them: tequila, vodka or gin would be amazing with any of these. Or pour about 2 tbsp at the bottom of a champagne glass and top with a sparkling wine for a fresh brunch drink.
Inspired by Hugh Acheson's Honeydew Agua Fresca in 'The Broad Fork'