Agua de Fruta Fresca. It just sounds like summer to my ears.
We recently spent a weekend in the beach town of Cape May, NJ, and discovered the cutest taco shop right at the local airport. Conveniently, it is next to a brewery, perhaps to balance out that whole "airport" thing.
Airport location or not, it's a great little spot with a diverse menu of tacos, bowls (yes, they had me at bowls), and vegetarian options. There was something else that caught my eye on the menu. A section devoted to "aguas". Options included watermelon/lemonade or a pineapple/cucumber/lime/honey concoction. Sure, the concept of flavored water is nothing revolutionary, but to see these special mixed waters instead of smoothies really sparked my interest. Naturally I immediately started dreaming up options to make at home.
Much much lighter than a smoothie, but not quite as flat as water with fruit added, these traditional mexican beverages are a brilliant way to enjoy a well-hydrated and colorful summer.
I find that they are perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or snack # (3, 4, 5??) for the kids. I'm told that in Mexico after these are blended, parents will usually strain out the pulp for their children to thin the mixture a bit. I liked it both ways, but will strained it for my boys and got thumbs up all around. I can also see freezing these into popsicle molds for a healthy treat. The options are endless.
Have fun and enjoy!
Yield: Approximately 2 cups
1 cup roughly chopped fruit (hulled strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe or cucumber)
1 cup water
Juice from 1/2 medium lime
1 teaspoon honey, pure cane sugar or sweetener of choice (I found that my fruit that was perfectly ripe did not need sweetener. The other times I just used honey)
In a high speed blender (I use Vitamix), combine fruit, lime juice, water, and sweetener. Mix until smooth. Taste, and if necessary add more sweetener. Serve over ice.
* Optional: Drain out the liquid into a glass using a cheesecloth or fine mesh. Discard the leftover pulp.