The Mexican Agua Fresca is simply a refreshing beverage/drink which does not contain any alcohol. This Agua Fresca recipe is a low-fat, vegan version made with fresh juicy watermelon, perfect to beat the heat during summers. So, why not stir-up a unique beverage this time and welcome a change from those usual watermelon drinks that you are used to consuming.
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What is Agua Fresca
The light, non-alcoholic beverages popular in Mexico, Southwest United States and Central America are called Aguas Frescas. This is a Spanish term which literally translates to ‘cool or fresh waters.’
These are usually a blend made of fruits, flowers, cereals or seeds with water and sugar. Some well-liked flavors of the Agua Fresca with fruits include grapes, watermelon, berries, citrus and sour fruits, guava, mango, papaya, prickly pear, melon, cantaloupe. Other flavor variants include chia seeds, tamarind, hibiscus, vanilla, horchata and more.
This beverage is not just a well-known street find in these regions, but are also sold at convenience stores. Locals like pairing their food with this drink at juice bars and restaurants too.
About Watermelon Agua Fresca
Summers are round the corner and what better way to cool the body than to sip on a super refreshing and cooling beverage made of watermelon. This Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe is an absolutely easy vegan and low-fat recipe that gets done in a jiffy.
As watermelon is synonymous with the extreme hot weather conditions in India and is a personal favorite fruit too, I decided to recreate this Mexican drink at my home.
The consistency and taste of the Mexican Agua Fresca is different than the regular Watermelon Juice. The watermelon juice in the Agua Fresca recipe is strained and extracted from the pulp unlike the watermelon juice which has the pulp.
I used half a large watermelon which yielded about 5 glasses of the beverage. To bring a slight twist in the classic recipe, I have added hints of ginger to my version.
This creates an earthy undertone which goes really well with the overall flavor of watermelon, lemon and fresh mint. You can skip adding the ginger if you wish to.
This non-alcoholic watermelon drink is best had when chilled or served with ice cubes in the sweltering summer heat. It can also be that perfect party mocktail where you can serve it in spice/salt rimmed glasses, with lemon wedges, a fancy stirrer or mint sprig.
How to make Agua Fresca
1. First take the chopped watermelon cubes in a blender. Make sure to remove the seeds from the watermelon while chopping them.
You will need 4 to 5 cups of chopped watermelon cubes. Also add ½ teaspoon chopped ginger (about ½ inch peeled ginger). Pour 1 to 2 cups water or as needed depending on the consistency you prefer.
Also add sugar if you like. I usually choose to skip sugar in this drink but you can add about ¼ cup or more as needed.
2. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
3. Blend to a smooth and fine consistency.
4. Place a large bowl below a medium mesh strainer. Pour the juice in the strainer.
5. Press the remaining pulp on the strainer with a spoon so that all the juice is squeezed through. Discard the pulp.
If you prefer you can omit this step of straining the juice.
6. Pour the juice in glasses. Add a few ice cubes if you like. Garnish with mint leaves or lemon slices or serve as is.
If you want to serve cold, then refrigerate for a few hours. Or choose to add cold water while blending.
- Since watermelon already has a high water content, you can adjust the quantity of water to be added. Choose to add less or more water as needed.
- Adding sugar is optional and it can be added as per your sweetness level preferences.
- Adding ginger is also optional and you can skip adding it.
- The best way to serve Agua Fresca is chilled or with ice cubes. In case you don’t want to do so, you can use chilled water to blend the drink and consume it immediately.
Yes, Agua Fresca is an extremely healthy drink when made without any sugar or sweetener. It is vegan, low-fat and is hydrating too.
This is a personal choice. But it’s better to keep it the way it is to fully gain from its health benefits.
It is best to consume the Agua Fresca as soon as possible. If storing then store for a few hours in the refrigerator.
The main difference between the two is in the consistency. The watermelon juice in the Agua Fresca is strained and extracted from the pulp unlike the watermelon juice which has the pulp. So the agua fresca is more thinner and lighter than watermelon juice which has more thickness and volume.
Yes, you can as there are many classic Mexican versions of the Agua Fresca that are made with different fruits like orange, melon, berries, papaya, pineapple, etc. Choose to omit straining of the juice if you prefer.
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Watermelon Agua Fresca | Refreshing Mexican Drink
- 4 to 5 cups chopped watermelon – deseeded
- 1 to 2 cups water or add as required
- ½ inch chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or as required
- ¼ cup sugar or add as required, optional
- 5 to 7 ice cubes (optional)
- few mint leaves or mint sprig – for garnish, optional
- Chop half of a large watermelon. If you prefer you can use the entire watermelon too. Remove the seeds while chopping watermelon.
- Blend all the chopped watermelon cubes, ginger, lemon juice, sugar and water in a blender.
- Keep a large bowl or pan below a medium mesh strainer.
- Pour the juice on the strainer.
- Press the pulp on the strainer with the back of a spoon so that the extra juice also filters through. If you want you can skip this step of straining the juice.
- Discard the pulp.
- Pour the agua fresca in glasses and add a few ice cubes if you like.
- Serve watermelon agua fresca straight away garnished with lemon slices or mint sprigs. You can also enjoy the drink as is without the ice cubes and garnishes.
- The amount of water can be adjusted. Since watermelon already has a high water content, you can adjust the amount of water to be added.
- Adding sugar is optional. Add as per your requirements and depending on the sweetness of the watermelon. You can also add your preferred sweeteners.
- Try to use a sweet watermelon so that you can omit or reduce the sugar.
- For a slighter thicker juice, you can also add ½ cup water.
- Ginger and lemon juice can be skipped.
- The recipe can be scaled down or up according to your needs.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Agua Fresca recipe post from the archives first published on April 2013 has been republished and updated on 21 May 2022.