Aguas Frescas

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IrishLass

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Navigator's 'favorite summer side dishes' thread inspired me to post about my favorite refreshing summer drinks- namely aguas frescas (i.e., fresh waters in Spanish), which is basically made by pulverizing any kind of fruit in a blender and then mixing it with enough water- usually something like half water/half fruit juice- (and a little sugar if desired) to create a slightly sweet, very refreshing flavored water. I have a little gem of a book by Fany Gerson entitled, "Paletas- Authentic Recipes For Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas", that has inspired all kinds of creativity in me.

This week, I've made 2 kinds of aguas frescas. My first was made with honeydew/cucumber/ginger/mint. For the ginger part, I made a ginger simple syrup out of fresh gingerroot and added just a little bit of it to the mix (it's very strongly concentrated, but so good!). I think I might just make aguas frescas using just the ginger syrup next.

And the other kind I made yesterday was a watermelon aguas frescas that I mixed with coconut water. Yum! So good and refreshing when served in a tall glass of ice!


How about you- have you folks made any aguas frescas, and if so, what is your favorite?


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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I have never made aqua frescas of any sort, but I have watermelon in the fridge and mint in the yard...I may just make me some today.

Thanks for the ideas!
 

TeresaT

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The closest I've ever come to it is cucumber water. I love cucumber water!! I'll cut up a cucumber and stick it in a pitcher of water in the fridge for a few days. When it starts to get soggy, I pull it out and put it in the blender to pulverize then pour that through a sieve back into the pitcher. However, now that I've got a real honest to goodness juicer, I see cucumber water in a whole new light this summer. I might have to juice a bunch of fruit and mix that with water to do this agua frescas thingy you've got going on. I'll have to buy some ice cube trays and freeze the fruit juices! Oh my gosh. What have you done? :lol:
 

Arimara

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I have to learn to make nieves. Those are Mexican shaved ices I'm talking about and they are closer to the Italian ices than piraguas, which are normally Puerto Rican "snow cones". I love Piraguas in the summer but it's harder to find in my neighborhood these days (people don't trust the old school anythings anymore.)
 

IrishLass

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@ Susie- give it a try- you won't be sorry!

@ Theresa- I love plain cucumber water, too! Adding some to the juices of other fruits makes for a really nice taste sensation.

@ Arimara- I've been making nieves for at least 5 or 6 years now I reckon, although until I read your post just now and did a search on google, I didn't know that that's what they are called :lol: I've just always called them shaved ices, but I've always made them with fresh fruit purees and a little added sugar to taste (instead of those nasty faux 'fruit' syrups you can buy). lol Sometimes I even add a tiny bit of cream to them just to produce a richer taste. To shave the frozen purees, I use a small counter-top Hawaiian ice shaver that I bought online some years ago (same company, and basically the same machine, but mine is an older model, of course).


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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Elders are blooming here in Iowa. I make elderflower syrup and cordial and use some of my bees' raw honey for the sweetener --

Elderflower Syrup
about 2 quarts

1 lb (about 500 grams) freshly picked elderflowers, larger stems, leaves, etc. removed
2 quarts (2 Liters) water
8 cups (1600 g) sugar OR 4 cups sugar (800 grams) and 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) raw (strained but not heated) honey
50 to 80 grams citric acid powder to taste. Use less if also adding citrus, more if not.
zest and juice of 2 lemons, or 2 oranges, or 1 of each (optional. I don't use them, but many people do)

Pick over the elderflowers and remove any leaves, larger stems, and other debris. Set aside.

In a 6 quart or larger pot, bring the water to a full boil. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the citric acid. Syrup will foam up.

Let the syrup cool until it is no more than lukewarm (under 120 deg F). Stir in the honey (if using) and the elderflowers. (Absolutely DO NOT put elderflowers or honey into really hot syrup! Heat kills the delicate floral aroma of raw honey and elderflowers and adds a less desirable green or grassy flavor.)

Let infuse 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Strain the syrup to remove the elderflowers. Store in sanitized containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Elderflower Cordial

In 2 quart pitcher, fill half full with ice. Fill half full with cold water. Add 1/2 cup elderflower syrup and (optional) the juice of 2 lemons. Stir well. Add enough water to make 2 quarts.

Optional: Add a few raspberries or some elderberry juice to tint the drink a lovely pink.
 
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snappyllama

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Irishlass, that sounds really refreshing. About the closest I've come to making that it is... wine spritzers. That counts, right? Fill big glass with Riesling + a little bit of fruit juice + a tiny amount of club soda. The juice makes it healthy! :wink:
 

cmzaha

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LOL, live where I do and visit a farmer's market. Every food vendor has the drinks :) But most are heavily sweetened
 

navigator9

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Navigator's 'favorite summer side dishes' thread inspired me to post about my favorite refreshing summer drinks- namely aguas frescas (i.e., fresh waters in Spanish), which is basically made by pulverizing any kind of fruit in a blender and then mixing it with enough water- usually something like half water/half fruit juice- (and a little sugar if desired) to create a slightly sweet, very refreshing flavored water. I have a little gem of a book by Fany Gerson entitled, "Paletas- Authentic Recipes For Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas", that has inspired all kinds of creativity in me.

How about you- have you folks made any aguas frescas, and if so, what is your favorite?


IrishLass :)
IrishLass, I have that same book! A few years ago, I got interested in making various popsicles as a cool dessert alternative. I tried to keep most of them fairly healthy, with lots of fruit. Pinterest has loads of recipes, too. But one of the reasons that I bought this book was that I still remembered a coconut popsicle I bought from a vendor in Guatemala, with big chunks of coconut in it. I made a variation with coconut milk, cream of coconut, coconut water, lime zest and slices of kiwi. So yummy!

I also love the aguas frescas, after being served a strawberry one by a friend from Jamaica. I make them a lot in the summer, because I like to drink a lot of water, and aguas frescas keep them from getting boring. Aside from various fruits, a mixture of cucumber and honeydew is one of my favorites.
 

Arimara

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Irishlass, that sounds really refreshing. About the closest I've come to making that it is... wine spritzers. That counts, right? Fill big glass with Riesling + a little bit of fruit juice + a tiny amount of club soda. The juice makes it healthy! :wink:
I love wine spritzers but I tend to use frozen fruit with or without the juice.
 

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