Agua Frescas Master Recipe Makes one quart
Agua Frescas, from my native Mexico, combine water, fruit, and sweetener to produce refreshing celebrations of the season. Using the least amount of sweetener allows the flavors of the fruits to burst forth. These drinks can be made with unprocessed fruit, as described below, or with Fruit Coulis as shown in the next master recipe.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (about 8–10 oz) cut into 2-inch pieces. Remove large pits and seeds or, if using berries or grapes, leave whole.
- 3 cups water
- 2–4 tablespoons sweetener (more or less to taste) such as raw honey, maple syrup or Sucanat
Blend the ingredients well, strain, chill if desired, and serve. It is best to drink Agua Frescas right after they are made, but they will keep, if covered in the refrigerator, for 2–3 days. If making ahead of time, re-blend or shake well just before serving.
Note: Straining the Agua Fresca is unnecessary if the fruit you are using has only a few small seeds and you enjoy drinking a more textured liquid.
Agua Frescas made with Fruit Coulis Master Recipe Makes one quart
Having Fruit Coulis on hand makes Agua Frescas easy to assemble.
1 cup Fruit Coulis, fresh or frozen (click here)
3 cups water
Blend Fruit Coulis with water and serve. If Fruit Coulis is frozen, let it partially thaw, then blend.
Fruitful Variations: Many different fruits can be used for making Agua Frescas. I love making them with wild and cultivated berries but I also enjoy making Agua Frescas with apricots, peaches, and pears. Using these basic recipes as a reference point, I am constantly experimenting and I encourage you to do the same.
Wild Black Raspberry Agua Fresca: This tart purple beverage is as pleasing to look at as it is to drink. Red raspberries work equally well.
Use 2 cups black raspberries and ¼ cup raw honey or 1 cup Black Raspberry Coulis and follow preceding Master Recipe.
Wild Blueberry Agua Fresca: A flavorful rich drink, full of antioxidants. Of course cultivated blueberries may be used.
Use 2 cups blueberries and ¼ cup maple syrup or 1 cup Blueberry Coulis and follow preceding Master Recipe.
Elderberry Agua Fresca: Elderberries, famous for immune boosting and blood building, can be made into this delightful drink that has a beautiful magenta color.
Use 2 cups fully ripe elderberries and ¼ cup maple syrup or 1 cup Elderberry Coulis and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and follow preceding Master Recipe.
American or European Black Currant Agua Fresca: Black currants, rich in bioflavonoids, iron and vitamin C, possess a pungent, earthy flavor. They contain little sugar, so adjust sweetener to taste.
Use 2 cups black currants and ¼ cup maple syrup or 1 cup Black Currant Coulis and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and follow preceding Master Recipe.
Peach Nectar Agua Fresca: When our peach trees start ripening, our kitchen is filled with baskets of peaches that need to be eaten or processed into something quickly. This drink is a great way to enjoy some of those peaches.
Use 2 cups peaches, cut into 2-inch pieces with pits removed, and ¼ cup maple syrup or 1 cup Peach Coulis and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and follow preceding Master Recipe.
Wild Grape Agua Fresca Full of autumnal essence, this deep, tangy drink is also very rich in health promoting antioxidants and nutrients.
Use 2 cups wild grapes or cultivated concord grapes and 2 tablespoons raw honey or 1 cup Wild grape Coulis and follow preceding Master Recipe.