Aguas Frescas
Puree in a blender:
fresh fruit
sugar, to taste
Pour into a pitcher and let sit a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain, if necessary, add ice cubes, some fresh lime juice (optional), and serve.
For instance, to make a Canteloupe Agua Fresca, slice the rind off a canteloupe, halve it and remove the seeds. Cut the melon into chunks and puree until very smooth, with:
1 - 2 c water
1/2 - 1 c sugar
No straining is necessary.
For a delicious and unusual Pomegranate Agua Fresca, split open several ripe pomegranates and work the seeds out into a bowl. Remove any obvious chunks of rind and pith, but it is not necessary to be overly compulsive about it. Place the seeds in a blender with an equal amount of water and some sugar. Pulse briefly just until the juicy seeds are broken. Strain through a colander to remove the white seed kernels. Taste and correct the sugar. Mix in a little lime juice, and serve over ice with a sprig of mint (bruised between your fingers to release the flavor).
Notes & Variations:
  1. Aguas frescas are refreshing drinks, usually made from fresh fruit: watermelon, canteloupe, strawberries, pineapple, etc. The ones you get in Mexican restaurants are usually made from fruit syrups and are therefore not as pulpy as the real thing. Use whatever fruit is available and experiment, as we did with the Pomegranate Agua Fresca above.
  2. 'Jamaica' is a wonderful agua fresca that is simply sweetened, iced hibiscus tea, optionally flavored with a little lime juice.