Aguas frescas, literally, fresh waters, are fresh fruit drinks that are very popular in Mexico. Unlike pure fruit drinks, aguas frescas are made with fresh fruit juice, water, sugar and ice. They are very refreshing especially on hot and humid days. I know it sounds so much easier and convenient to simply dilute commercial fruit juice with water and ice but trust me when I say that it won’t compare to the real thing. Agua fresca is best made with fresh fruit juice or combination of juices.
If you’re up for it, you can try using flavored simple syrup instead of sugar. Just boil equal amounts of water with a spice or herb (like ginger or lemongrass) and let steep as the mixture cools. It’s something I’d like to try soon. For my first attempt at making agua fresca, I kept it simple — freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices, sugar, water and ice.
There is no strict rule as to the proportion between fruit juice and water. I suggest that to make sure that you’re that your agua fresca does not come out too bland, try a 1:2 ratio or one part juice with two parts water. And remember that you’ll be serving your agua fresca with ice and, as the ice melts, the juice will get diluted some more. Sugar is, as always, to taste.
Agua de naranja y limón (orange and lemon drink)
- 2 large oranges
- 1 lemon
- sugar to taste
Squeeze the juices of the oranges and lemon. Use a citrus juicer, if you have to, to get as much of the pulps as possible. Just remember that when using a citrus juicer, don’t overdo the squeezing because if you squeeze the pith of the fruits, the bitter taste of the pith will get mixed in with the juice.
Pour the juices into glasses (or a pitcher). Add twice as much water.
Add sugar. Mix to dissolve the sugar.
Add ice and serve.