Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Agua Frescas [Watermelon and Lime / Prickly Pear (Tuna) and Mango]

Agua Frescas [Watermelon and Lime / Prickly Pear (Tuna) and Mango]

It's summertime and it's time for cool, refreshing drinks!

Inspired by a couple of Gabriela's posts, starting with "Contemporary Aguas Fresca from Food52", I have become completely intrigued with agua frescas.  I've made them in the past, but with blinders on in regards to what I could put in them.  My imagination was limited to making only those I had tried before at various places around town - watermelon and cantaloupe ones. I've seen others, but it is normally almost impossible for me not to say "watermelon" when they ask me which kind I want :)  I've only seen the cantaloupe ones for sale once, but since then, I make them at least once a year at home.

I haven't made the contemporary ones Gabriela posted about yet, but I did make Gabriela's Agua de Jamaica -- and loved it!  I made it exactly as she suggested, and I'm glad I did.  I found her proportions to be very refreshing and they left the mint flavor in tact.  I'm sure I'd have covered some of that up with too much sugar, if I had been left to my own devices :)

For watermelon agua frescas, I rarely make them the same way twice since it all depends on the sweetness of the fruit.  Sometimes they don't need much sweetener, sometimes they do.  For the one I made most recently, the fruit wasn't the most flavorful.  However, rather than compensate with more sugar like I normally would, I opted to add lime juice to keep it a bit tarter.

I used the fruit from one normal sized watermelon (not the baby ones), strained, then blended with the juice of three limes, 1/2 cup sugar and 9 ounces of water.

The Prickly Pear (Tuna) and Mango agua fresca is new for me this year.  I had bought the mango for something else, but that's another story.  A story that needs passion....fruit, that is.  Which apparently isn't in season here yet.  I'm told maybe next week?

Although there are two mangoes in this picture, I only used one for this drink.

Fruit from the five prickly pears and one mango went into the blender, then strained through a sieve, directly into a pitcher.  Added 1/8 cup of blue agave sweetener and 18 ounces of water.  Mixed together.  Served over ice.

If you're a lemonade fan, Jessica at FoodMayhem posted, "Lemonade by the Glass".  I haven't tried hers yet, but only because my lemons keep getting put into something else before I get to it. 

How about you?

What's your go to drink to cool off in the summer?


  1. I saw your comment on FoodMayhem and thought you must be really knowledgeable with plants! :-) Then I saw this post. Can the cactus fruit be eaten like normal fruits, or just used in drinks?

  2. @Mai - Yep, you can eat them just like regular fruit. The first one I had was consumed right in the grocery store. When I asked the grocer about them, he cut one right open for me. I have never tried to eat one without using a knife to break the skin, but the skin comes off easily from the fruit (like an orange). The fruit has a lot of seeds though, so if you don't want to eat them, make sure you have somewhere handy to put them :) The fruit on the ones I've had has also been kind of soft, like a ripe watermelon, so they can be a little messy eating by hand. Perhaps less ripe ones are firmer?

    @Veggie Belly - I love the color, too. I want a shirt or a dress that color :) By the way, I didn't get to make your eggplant rollatini yet, but I am trying out a variation tonight with what I have on hand. Eggplant rollatini with some homemade marinara sauce and whatever i can find to stuff it with :) Leftovers for lunch tomorrow, too. Yippee :)

  3. The colour and combination are unbeatable!