Aguas Frescas – other than Horchata

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My first experience with trying to make aguas frescas was in the interest of my Spanish Exploratory class –  I developed this day where we ate “Crazy Mexican Sweets.”  The Klass mixes were the first I tried and it was horchata.  First thing I learned after mixing it in a bottle was that sugar MUST be added.  I had some Mexican children in Spanish Exploratory (which cannot be avoided in the scheduling world) and someone politely tasted it and shared that info with me.

So, yes, there are mixes for aguas frescas that are little more that Kool Aid.  Here is a link so you can see all of the Klass mixes.  I think that the tamarindo and jamaica are passable, but skip the limon – it is very VERY acidic.

Next on the  list are bottled aguas frescas – which are a pretty good substitute if you don’t want to take the time to make them yourself.  They are also good to bring to a tasting – for example, if your Spanish students wanted to have a food day.  Bonadea Drinks offers 11 flavors, including pepino (cucumber?) and has very clean, slick packaging.  It is sweetened with agave for you health nuts out there.  Morela Aguas Frescas has many flavors as well.  Cañita  Brands offers only jamaica and tamarindo.  Even Kern’s Nectars is getting into the act with jamaica (full of antioxidants!), tamarindo and limon.

Okay, if you don’t know what an agua fresca is, it’s basically a drink made of pureed fruit, sugar and water.  The mixture is blended together and strained to make a refreshing beverage.  For further enlightenment, here is a Los Angeles Times article on aguas frescas – and another from the L. A. Times on where to find freshly made ones.  Apparently, they take their A.F. (aguas frescas)  seriously in L. A.

Here is a Guide to Mexican Fruits from MexConnect.com.  This is for your reference.  After you have read all of the enticing and creative recipes here, you may want to personalize your own fruit!  To get you started, here is a Basic Agua Fresca Recipe with variations.  Here is another page with the basics – they call them Mexican Coolers.

What follows is basically a collection of recipes and variations I have found on the internet through hours of research…

While I was researching, I came across Rachel Laudan’s blog.  She has a lot of posts about exotic foods, but if you click on her Aguas Frescas tag, you can find several unusual drink recipes.  Here is one for Agua de Viernes de Dolores which I think is colored from beet root but it has all sorts of fruit and even shredded iceberg lettuce in it!  Another unusual agua is made with Apricot Leather – it actually has Middle Eastern provenance.

Finally, I did an Amazon.com search to see if anyone had a book out yet on aguas frescas.  I found Cool Waters: Refreshing Homemade Thirst Quenchers by Brian Preston-Campbell – This looks like a really good book with recipes for flavored waters and ice cubes.

P.S. – I did find an interesting variation on Horchata from a restaurant called Guelaguetza in Los Angeles.  It has chopped prickly pear fruit (tuna) and pecans (nueces) on top.  Yum!

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One response »

  1. Pingback: me gusta aguas frescas…. « phoenikia

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