Agua fresca is a fresh fruit-based drink that is very popular in Mexico. They’re typically made by mashing or pureeing fruit such as strawberries or melon and then thinning the mixture out with juice or water until it has a light, drinkable consistency and is easy to sip through a straw. They’re lightly sweetened, both to highlight the sweetness of the fruit to ensure that the drink is a nice contrast for the spicy, savory food that it is usually served with. I like them because they’re very refreshing and because there is a lot of variety, from strawberries to hibiscus to tamarind.
This watermelon agua fresca is my spin on one of my favorite types of agua fresca. Watermelon seems even more refreshing to me than many other fruits, simply because it contains so much water to begin with. For this drink, I blend watermelon and a few strawberries with just enough water to puree them easily, then pour the mixture into a tall serving glass where I’ve muddled a little bit of sugar and mint. The mint is not traditional for this type of drink, but it works beautifully with the berries and the watermelon, making the drink seem even more refreshing. I chill the fruits before making this drink and serve it straight after I’ve prepared it. If you want it colder, chill the mixture for an hour or so before serving. Don’t add ice to the blender – or you’ll have to call your drink a smoothie!
If you strawberries and watermelon are sweet enough, you will probably only want to add a little bit of sugar to this drink, as I did. If they’re not quite as sweet as you’d like, add an extra tablespoon or two of sugar when blending the fruits together. And if you’re looking for a grownup finish to this drink, cut back on the water to make the puree a little bit thicker and spike your finished product with a splash of rum.
Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca
8-oz watermelon, seeds removed
4-oz fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water (plus more, if needed)
2 tbsp sugar, divided
2-3 mint leaves
In a blender or food processor, combine watermelon, strawberries, water and one tablespoon of sugar. Blend until mixture is smooth. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water if mixture is too thick to blend easily.
In a large serving glass, muddle remaining tablespoon of sugar with the mint leaves (or crush the two elements together with the back of a spoon until mint flavor is released) and pour in the watermelon mixture. Stir and chill, if desired, before serving.
Makes 1 large (or 2 small) serving.
Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.