Agua Fresca is a refreshing drink made with fresh fruit, water, lime juice, and a sweetener. Learn how to make agua fresca at home using your choice of fruits/flavorings and have a pitcher ready for your next get together.
Agua fresca is a very popular drink throughout Mexico and Central America. In the United States, you can find agua fresca at Mexican supermarkets/restaurants, just look for colorful plastic beverage dispensers. Agua fresca means “cool water/fresh water” in Spanish so you can pretty much use your choice of fruit (s), lime juice, sweetener, and herbs, seeds, and flowers and blend them to your liking.
Watermelon and hibiscus agua fresca are both very popular but you can use other fruits such as honeydew melon, mango, pineapple, cucumber, tamarind, cantaloupe, strawberries. You can also mix fruits to make up your favorite flavor combinations. In addition to lime juice, I like adding herbs to bring out the flavors of agua fresca even more.
Sweetener is optional and depending on the fruit you use and your taste, you may not need the sugar. I mostly use a little amount of sugar to balance out the flavors.
Instead of a sugar sweetened beverage, agua fresca is a healthy beverage that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and hydrating for your body. You can also get a little fiber if you leave the skin on and don’t strain the agua fresca.
I love using fruits with high water content such as watermelon, honey dew and cantaloupe. Cucumber and mint is another favorite combination of mine.
A blender, fine mesh strainer, and jar/pitcher are three essential tool/equipments you will need to make agua fresca. Straining at the end is optional as it depends on the fruit you use and the consistency of agua fresca you like. I personally prefer straining the agua fresca if it contains skin and pulp, esp in fruits like pineapple, peaches, and cucumber.
I made three different agua fresca utizling mango, peaches, and cantaloupe as they are in season and so delicious. I paired each fruit with a herb/seasoning and a squeeze of lime juice to balance out the flavor. Depending on the sweetness and tartness of the fruit, sugar is completely optional.
There is no standard recipe or ratio when it comes to making agua fresca. I usually start out with 1:2 ratio, which means for every 1 cup of fruit, use 2 cups of water. Fruits that naturally contain a large amount of water such as watermelon or cucumber, use 1:1.5 ratio and go from there.
Mango Tajin Agua Fresca
To make mango tajin agua fresca:
Peel and chop the mango and add to your blender. Add water and tajin, and additional squeeze of lime juice. Blend for 3-4 minutes until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add sweetener if needed to balance out the flavor.
Prepare a pitcher lined with a fine fresh strainer. Pour the mango tajin agua fresca over the pitcher. Let it cool for few hours before serving. Serve it chilled over ice.
Tajin is a Mexican spice blend made with dried chile peppers, dehydrated lime and sea salt. We love tajin generously sprinkled on our fresh fruit.
Cantaloupe Mint Agua Fresca
To make cantaloupe mint agua fresca:
Peel, de-seed, and cube cantaloupe. Add cantaloupe to your blender with water, fresh mint leaves, little grated ginger (optional but recommend), lime juice and agave nectar. Blend for 3-4 minutes until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.
Prepare a pitcher lined with a fine fresh strainer. Pour the cantaloupe mint agua fresca over the pitcher. Let it cool for few hours before serving. Serve it chilled over ice.
Peach Rosemary Agua Fresca
To make peach rosemary agua fresca:
Slice peaches and add to your blender with water, fresh rosemary leaves, and lime juice. Blend for 3-4 minutes until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.
Prepare a pitcher lined with a fine fresh strainer. Pour the peach rosemary agua fresca over the pitcher. Let it cool for few hours before serving. Serve it chilled over ice.
Helpful tips and notes on making agua fresca:
Depending on the quantity and size of your blender, you may need to work in batches. If you do not have a powerful blender, it will take a little bit longer than 3-4 minutes.
It is completely normal for agua fresca to have froth/foam on top. It is due to fiber from fruits and air that gets incorporated during blending. You can use a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp/froth/foam.
Agua fresca tastes BEST when it’s chilled in the fridge for several hours. Overtime, agua fresca may separate, just use a spoon to mix them together.
You can make agua fresca upto 2-3 days in advance and keep it chilled in the fridge.