Agua Fresca

Agua fresca is hands-down the best drink of summer. So refreshing!summerfruitbasketAgua fresca, which means fresh water, is simply fruit blended with water, then strained into a glass over ice.  Any fruit you’ve got will work, and most of the time a ratio of 3 cups fruit to 2 cups water works best. A little lime juice and sweetener will make the flavor pop. Fresh herbs are fun, too.  Add a splash of seltzer and it’s like a fruity homemade soda.frescasOf course it also makes a great cocktail. Here are some of my favorites, with or without booze.pineapplelime

Pineapple & Kaffir Lime Agua Fresca
  1. 3 cups pineapple chunks
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or to taste)
  4. 3 tablespoons agave nectar (or to taste)
  5. 2 kaffir lime leaves
  6. seltzer water
  7. rum
  1. Blend the pineapple, water, lime juice, and agave. Add the kaffir lime leaves and pulse until they're chopped up in the mixture. Strain into a pitcher.
  2. Serve the aqua fresca over ice with a big splash of seltzer water. Spike it with rum if you like. Garnish with limes, pineapple wedges, or kaffir lime leaves.
Suwannee Rose

Mango & Hibiscus Agua Fresca
  1. 6 hibiscus flowers, stems and stamens removed, or 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  2. 1" piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 1/4 cup agave nectar
  5. 3 cups mango chunks
  6. 2 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)
  7. seltzer
  8. tequila
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the hibiscus, ginger, and water. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the agave nectar and allow it to cool.
  2. Strain the hibiscus tea into the jar of a blender. Add the mango chunks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture into a pitcher.
  3. Serve over ice with a splash of seltzer. Spike it with a shot of tequila if you like. Garnish with lime wedges.
Suwannee Rose
rambutanmintThis one’s great with lychees or rambutans (pictured here) or longans!  Consider yourself lucky if you have any of the above.  They vary in sweetness, so taste it as you go.

Lychee & Mint Agua Fresca
  1. 3 cups peeled and seeded lychees, rambutans, or longans
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  4. 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
  5. 1 cup torn mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  6. seltzer
  7. gin
  1. Puree the lychee or rambutan, water, and lime juice in a blender. Add agave nectar to taste.
  2. Strain into a pitcher.
  3. Serve over ice with a splash of seltzer. Add gin if you like. Garnish with mint leaves.
Suwannee Rose