Heaven. That’s how I felt when I sipped the watermelon agua fresca today. The drink is so refreshing, sweet, and brings a smile to my face every time.
Beautiful in color and taste, Aguas frescas are a refreshing beverage and mostly found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the southwest of the United States. Some of the more common flavors include tamarind, melon, lulo, mamey, hibiscus, and agua de horchata or sweetened rice milk.
Chilled aguas frescas are utterly delicious and perfect for sipping, especially during the warm spring and summer months. Typically made with fruits, grains and seeds, agua frescas also include water, sugar and sometimes herbs or spices — but that’s pretty much it. They’re simple to make at home and you can easily tweak a recipe to your liking by adding soda water or even alcohol, like vodka or rum. I’ve even replaced the sugar with an artificial sweetener to avoid the spike in blood sugar.
Make sure to select fruits that are in season to ensure optimum sweetness. I’ve sipped all sorts of agua frescas, but my favorite continues to made with watermelon. Here a simple recipe for an Agua Fresca de Sandia (watermelon). You can always fancy it up by adding thinly sliced limes and rimming the glass with chile powder and sugar. I imagine chile powder and salt would also be a nice complement to the sweet watermelon beverage.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10
4 cups watermelon cut into large chunks
4 cups filtered water (you can always add more if you’d like)
1/2 cup sugar
* Lime, sprigs of mint and chile powder for garnish.
In a blender, add the watermelon chunks and three cups of water unless you have an extra large blender, then go ahead and add all four cups.
Pour the pureed watermelon mixture into a large pitcher. Add the other cup of the remaining filtered water. Stir in the sugar along with a few slices of lime. The best part of an agua fresca is that you can adjust the sweetness level to your personal taste. I always recommend adding the sugar at the end, slowly, taking sips along the way until you have it just the way you like.
For the glass:
On a small plate, add an 1/8 cup of chile powder with an equal part of sugar and mix with a fork.
Just like you would for a margarita, rim the glass with lime and dip into the sugar and chile powder mixture. Add ice and pour the Watermelon Agua Fresca. Top with a fresh sprig of mint and enjoy!
What did I tell you? Pure heaven.