Have you ever sliced into a watermelon so juicy that you were tempted to just stick a straw in it and enjoy? That’s the basic idea behind agua fresca, a simple drink popular in Mexico and Central America. I’d never heard of this drink until I moved to Florida, where it’s available just about everywhere, with the most popular flavor here being watermelon. Agua fresca de sandia couldn’t be easier to make, and the minimal amount of added sugar means this drink is healthy enough to drink as long as watermelon is in season!
Agua Fresca de Sandia
- 4 cups cubed watermelon (rind removed)
- 4 cups water (flat or sparkling, as you prefer)
- Sugar to taste
- Juice of one lime (optional)
Making this drink is very simple. Process the watermelon in a food processor or blender until smooth. At this point, some people like to pour the watermelon through a strainer or sieve and use just the juice, but I prefer a “heartier” version, so I skip straight to mixing the watermelon puree and water. Traditional agua fresca uses plain water, but I like to use sparkling water for extra refreshment. Add the lime juice and then sugar, if needed (really good watermelon probably won’t even need any sweetening). Chill for an hour and serve ice cold. (Makes 8 cups.)
If you enjoy agua fresca de sandia, there are plenty of other flavors out there to try. Do a web search for agua fresca and get recipes for using pineapple, cucumber, and more. Why not try some of the plants on the Birds & Blooms Cocktail Garden list?