• Mama

Fresca!

Time to learn some Spanish!

Fresca = Fresh

Agua = Water

Agua fresca = A beverage consisting of water and sugar with fruits, grains, or seeds added for flavoring.

What can go wrong with water and sugar?! Especially with ice, on a hot and dry day, with BBQs and friends...or not…just yourself and the drinks are plenty fine too.


I was traveling in Southern California...San Diego to be exact. There were these delicious tacos filled with grilled fish, citrus-y veggie salad, and avocados. Most importantly, there were these amazing selection of Agua frescas! Now that just spells paradise for me!

It never gets too hot in Northern California, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some nice agua frescas on a long Sunday afternoon! Here are some of my family’s favorites:


Melon basil fresca



Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe honeydew melon, ~ 5 LB, chopped into 2 inch cubes

  • 2 large lemons, juiced

  • 4 cups cold water

  • 4 teaspoons agave, or honey

  • 10~12 fresh basil leaves

Steps:

  1. Use a blender, purée honeydew until smooth.

  2. Optional step (too much work, skip it unless you want absolute-clear juice): set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl, line sieve with cheesecloth, pour honeydew purée into the sieve, let juice strain into the bowl; when the dripping slows down, gather cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl. Repeat the process with fresh cheesecloth, if needed, until all purée has been strained.

  3. Blend 4 cups cold water, 4~5 basil leaves, 4 teaspoons agave or honey, and juice of 2 lemons in a blender until smooth.

  4. Mix the honeydew juice and the basil/lemon juice together, and there you have it-the Melon Basil Fresca! Store it in the fridge until ready to serve.

  5. To serve, fill glasses with ice, and divide the agua fresca among glasses, garnish with the remaining basil leaves.

Mama's notes: Pomegranates are in season! Why not toss in a handful of pomegranate seeds to add some color and zing to the drink!


Rosemary Watermelon Fresca



Ingredients:

  • 1 small watermelon, ~ 3 LB, (or ¼ of a large watermelon) chopped into 2 inch cubes

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 4 cups cold water

  • 2 teaspoons agave, or honey

  • 5~8 sprigs of rosemary

Steps:

  1. Use a blender, purée watermelon until smooth.

  2. Again, optional step, only if you must...set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl, line sieve with cheesecloth, pour watermelon purée into the sieve, let juice strain into the bowl; when the dripping slows down, gather cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl. Repeat the process with fresh cheesecloth, if needed, until all purée has been strained.

  3. Remove the leaves from 1~2 sprigs of rosemary, blend 4 cups cold water, the rosemary leaves, 2 teaspoons agave or honey, and juice of 2 limes in a blender until smooth.

  4. Mix the watermelon juice and the rosemary/lime juice together, and there you have it-the Rosemary Watermelon Fresca! Store it in the fridge until ready to serve.

  5. To serve, fill glasses with ice, and divide the agua fresca among glasses, garnish with the remaining rosemary sprigs.

Mama's notes: this home-made drink + store-bought fried chicken suddenly makes a weekend meal so much more pleasant for everybody!


If you are all too busy/lazy and don’t feel like making any of the above, then just grab a glass filled with ice, and chill with...something...such as the following:

  • Water

  • Corn juice (the juice left behind from steaming or boiling corns) - unbelievably easy and yummy, gotta try it!

  • Any store-bought coconut water


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