Aguas Fresca – Fresh Water

Smoothies, Just a little… Smoother.

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A great Selection of aguas fresca for sale in the America’s…

A little bit more from the Mexican/Central American part of the world… Now this blog is all about cocktails, but it’s also not too proud to admit that alcohol is not always needed for a great drink (I know it’s a bit of a shocker but trust me sometimes needs must!).

The whole idea behind this post is to show that people out there who do not drink alcohol, whether the reasons are religion, dietary or just plain personal choice there’s a cocktail for everyone.

These ‘cocktails’ are not really cocktails per-sae, but are a mixture of fruit/cereal/flowers/seeds, sugar and water. This may not sound too appetising, but trust me, after the concoctions I’ve been trying I’m fully sold on the idea.

And the best thing about this drink is that should you want a little alcoholic kick, you can just mix in a little vodka spike…

Now onto a bit of information – don’t say I never give you anything!

Also known as Aqua Fresca, the term is Spanish for ‘Fresh water’. These drinks are popular across Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and more recently the USA.

Mexican & Central American Aguas Fresca’s regularly come in these flavours:

Sweet

MelonPapayaMangoStrawberryBananaOrangePassion Fruit, as well as other exotic fruits…

Sour

PineappleLemonLimeCucumberTamarind.

Seeds / Flowers

Hibiscus TeaHorchataAlfalfaCebadaChia.

This collection of flavours shows how varied this type of drink is. It’s a testament to the versatility of that wonderful chemical we all depend on: H2O (Water).

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Courtesy of Desert Dreaming*, this picture shows how vibrant the aguas fresca drinks can look…

It’s also a testament to our nature; humanity’s inevitably get bored. We look for something new, try to recreate things. After all that’s how fire and the wheel were invented. Not to mention the Light Bulb, even artists such as Da Vinci & Michelangelo worked to improve and change every day items.

So this idea of blending fruit with water (and sugar) should not come as a surprise. It changes something some consider boring into something vibrant, in both taste and appearance.

Here is the basic recipe for you use at home, just add your own fruit and enjoy…

Ingredients:

–          4 cups of water

–          2 cups of fresh fruit

–          ¼ cup of sugar (caster is best used for this)

–          2 teaspoons lemon OR lime juice (fresh squeezed)

–          Lime/Lemon wedges/wheels for garnish

Method:

1)      In a blender pour the fruit and water. Blend until smooth.

2)      Pour the mixture through a sieve and into a pitcher.

3)      Stir in the citrus juice and sugar.

4)      Add additional sugar to bring up to your own tastes.

5)      Garnish in the pitcher and serve over ice with your friends.

So as you see it’s a simple process that results in something truly amazing. Of course you can change out the sugar for agave nectar and honey, but you would need to blend it in with the fruit water (after sieving the mixture put it back in with the honey and mix well). Equally you could hand whisk.

Hopefully this has helped you all understand Aqua Fresca a little better. If this is your introduction to the drink, try it out; let me know what you think. Better yet, share it with friends and combine fruits.

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Courtesy of Chef Martin*, this picture shows again a shop vendors selling prowess…

I do enjoy the odd Summer Berry blend, as well as peach and apricot. For an added alcoholic kick, add in a few doses of fruit liqueurs into the first blend.

For more information on Aqua Fresca and related topics, check out these links:

Original Method

Wikipedia

Also see:

Licuado    &    Paleta,

*Desert Dreaming

*Chef Martin Seasons

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