Everyone’s going to love these Mexican aguas frescas recipes! These wonderfully refreshing drinks are still served in Mexican food restaurants and in shops across Mexico and Latin America.
Aguas frescas are also super popular in the United States now. Who wouldn’t love fresh fruit drinks?
Over the years, I’ve saved lots of these Mexican aguas frescas recipes. With Spring and Summer upon us, now is the time to share my treasured favorite drinks with you! Try ’em…you’ll LOVE them!
These Mexican aguas frescas recipes are also perfect for cookouts and parties too!
Photo Credit: Watermelon Agua Fresca by Joy on Flickr, Commons 2.0
Interestingly, today’s aguas frescas are a lot sweeter than what I remember enjoying from those humongous glass barrels outside the mercado. I guess if you like all that sugar, it’s fine.
But if you prefer a (slightly) healthier version of what I’m sharing with you, feel free to cut back on the sugar as much as you like. It’s all according to taste after all. I’m enjoying a tall glass of cold cantaloupe agua fresca as I write this, and I didn’t put any sugar in it at all. A lot will depend on your taste, your fruit and your preference.
The way I learned to cook growing up, was that food and drink should be prepared to our own tastes and preferences. So it was hard to get anyone to settle on exact measurements, much less agree on the proper ingredients.
Sooo…after lots of experimentation (LOL) I came up with the following general Mexican aguas frescas recipe to go by. I think it’s a good place to start! Below the recipe, I’ll jot down some more tips and ideas for different flavors and ingredients.
- About 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh fruit (peel & remove seeds as needed)
- Water — 3-6 cups
- Sugar — 1/2 to 2 cups (to taste)
- Lime juice (optional) — 1/4 cup
- Add the fruit and 1-2 cups of the water to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher, if you don’t want your drink “pulpy,” but want more of a clear drink.
- Add the rest of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and lime juice if using.
- Stir well and add more water and sugar as needed. Serve well chilled.
- With practice, you’ll be able to judge how much water and sugar you like to use & whether you like to use lime juice or not. They’re much better when lightly sweetened and VERY cold!
One of my favorite memories as a child growing up in Laredo, Texas was going shopping in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. In the early to mid-60’s it was no big deal to head across the international bridge and pick up groceries – pantry staples mostly, like sugar and spices; maybe some veggies and fruit.
The streets were lined with cart vendors selling all kinds of food and drinks. I always dreamed of eating my way down that street! YUM! My favorites were all the aguas frescas. Hey, it was HOT in Laredo & Nuevo Laredo! In fact, “aguas frescas” actually means “fresh waters.” Cool, huh? Yep, in the literal sense! LOL
So many aguas frescas ~ so little time! Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and cucumber. I’m amazed I didn’t just float away. But oh soooo good! These super-easy to make, delicious fruit drinks, aguas frescas, are a perfect choice for a summer pool party or barbecue, or just for cooling off after some gardening.
Serve Your Aquas Frescas In A Glass Barrel Jar
The glass barrel jars really helped create the colorful memory of the delicious aguas frescas that I remember. Beautiful fruity colors with orange slices or pineapple chunks and ice swirled around in the jars as the vendor swished the cold yummyness before ladling some into your cup. Mmmm!
These beverage dispensers are perfect for making these Mexican aguas frescas recipes and serving them at your next party or cookout. Lovely!
Masonware Farmhouse Beverage Dispensers with Stand Gift Box (Set of 2)2 Gal Dispenser on Stand; Ice Base & Core; Shatterproof Acrylic; Fruit and Tea InfuserBeverage Dispenser – Decorative Ribbed Design with Stand, 1.5 galClear Glass Duplex Beverage Dispenser – 1 Gal Ea, with Glass Lids and Metal Stand
Agua de Melon (Cantaloupe)Recipe
Delicious. Refreshing. Easy.
- 1 diced canteloupe (about 3 lbs) with seeds and rind discarded
- 4 cups water
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (or to taste; I’ve used this much sugar before, but I like my drinks sweet)
- lime juice, optional
- Place half of diced cantaloupe in blender, along with two cups of the water. Blend until liquified. Pour into a pitcher. Place remaining cup of melon in blender, along with two more cups water. Blend thoroughly and pour into pitcher. Add remaining two cups of water and sugar. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Chill thoroughly before serving.
- Personally, I don’t strain mine through a sieve, but you can if you want to. Experiment with less water and less sugar first to your preference. It’s easier to add water & sugar to the pitcher.
How to Make Aguas Frescas | Pottery Barn
Aguas Frescas Tips & Suggestions
For Best Results!
- Don’t use too much water. When mixing in the blender, use just enough water to be able to liquefy with the fruit, maybe a cup or two. Add more water in the pitcher or other container. Experimentation will be your best friend as you learn to make your drinks with your size blender, your taste preferences, etc.
- Traditionally, aguas frescas weren’t made with crushed ice, but you can if you want. I often do, if the fruit isn’t very cold. To get it really cold, use very cold (or ice water) to make the drink, then chill the prepared drink for about an hour before serving. Just remember…it will dilute the flavor, just like adding too much water, so go easy.
- Sugar should be added to taste. Fruit is sweet on it’s own and doesn’t require much sweetening. Nowadays, commercially sold aquas frescas are way too sweet for me. I believe 2 cups of sugar may be too much, but 1 cup sugar should be plenty; you can adjust that to suit your own taste. Sugar substitutes are fine too. You can try honey too! I’d suggest dissolving the honey in some warm water first to help it mix better & not stick to the sides of your blender (I hate when that happens, LOL)
What Other Kinds Of Aguas Frescas Can You Make?
How about these? Truth is, you’re only limited by your imagination. Try your favorite fruits first. Then, get bold and try some new fruit. If you’ve never had an Horchata or a Cucumber Agua Fresca, try one today! As with all of the Aguas Frescas, serve them VERY COLD! YUM!
Here’s more ideas for Aguas Frescas to make:
- Mango Agua Fresca; You may need 2-3 ripe mangos (enough to make about 3 cups of fruit). Adjust your sugar to taste; mangos are sweet! YUM! Try it with and without lime juice and see which you like better.
- Honeydew Melon Agua Fresca; Make just like the cantaloupe recipe. May need a bit more sugar. Again, try with and without lime juice.
- Watermelon Agua Fresca; By far, my very favorite in the whole world. I don’t like it overly sweet, but I do like it with LOTS of watermelon. I don’t strain mine through a sieve. Some folks leave the seeds in the watermelon as they will settle to the bottom of the blender. If you prefer, you can strain them out or remove the seeds before putting the fruit in the blender (which is what I do).
- Strawberry Agua Fresca; Save this one for when they’re on sale and use a fine strainer for the itty bitty seeds. Use about 5 cups of strawberries; hulled, rinsed and chopped. But WOW, you’ll love this. You might prefer a bit more sugar if the berries are tart.
- Pineapple; YUM! You’ll probably want to strain this one. And I don’t suggest using lime juice. Taste to see if you prefer it a little sweeter.
- Cucumber; Yummy! Another refreshing flavor! You can add lime, or a favorite herb like dill to flavorize your way. But try it plain with a dash of lime first before you experiment to acquaint yourself with the base & go from there.
Before long, you’ll be a whiz at this and you’ll even be mixing up those fruits. Strawberry-Watermelon? Cucumber-Mango? You know you want to! Now you be sure and come back to let me know what fruit you used first and how everyone liked it!