Oct 20, 2011

Agua Fresca

I started working in a new office this year, and it's right around the corner from a little Mexican restaurant. Their specials always looked good, so one day I went in and ordered one. A drink came with it, and they offered me a liquid from one of the large jugs they had on ice, or gestured to the soda machine.

I asked about the liquids in the jugs, and was told one was watermelon, one was cantalope, and the third was cucumber. These sounded different but refreshing, so I ordered the watermelon. It was SO GOOD! It was light as lemonade and sweetened a little with sugar.

I didn't discover this until the end of the summer, but now I enjoy a refreshing drink every day I can manage. Maybe I'll get one later today. Watermelon and cantalope are my favorites. They seem easy to make. Try this recipe, from the food network. It seems like a whole cantalope should yeild more than a quart of agua fresca, but let me know what you think.

Agua Fresca (meaning Fresh Water)


  • 1 large cantaloupe or half a watermelon, seeded and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 limes, juiced


This and other similar fruit drinks, which translate literally as "fresh water," are served all over Mexico and they're a cinch to replicate at home. The key is to strain the pulpy fruit to make a clearer liquid. Instead of melon, you could use strawberries, pineapple, or mango -- any fruit that is soft enough to puree.
Puree cantaloupe and pour through a fine sieve to eliminate pulp. In a pitcher, mix strained fruit puree with water and season with sugar and lime juice, to taste.