Watermelon: from agua fresca to margarita


We’ve been making watermelon smoothies forever. In fact, the very first recipe in the “Drinks” category was the watermelon smoothie. It was updated in September 2010 when my daughter, Sam, made a picture pretty pitcher of her version. It was after that September 2010 update when reader RQ posted the following comment:

She’s so right about the lime juice. It worked wonders.

But why, you might ask, add something sour if what one wants is a sweet drink? For some strange reason, adding a little sourness makes something sweet taste sweeter. It’s the contrast, I suppose. Instead of something that can be cloyingly sweet, one gets a nice balance that makes the flavors more appealing. It’s for the same reason that one adds a pinch or two of salt to cake batter. As RQ said, it’s all about the balance. »

Cucumber and mint agua fresca


We had quesadillas for brunch earlier and I thought I'd complete the Mexican theme by serving the quesadillas with agua fresca. I think themed meals are fun -- but only when it's not too fussy. I remember another Mexican-themed breakfast when I made potatoes with chorizo and chili, and enjoyed it with cafe con leche.I … »

Agua de naranja y limón (orange and lemon drink)


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 … »