Sipping on watermelon agua fresca

We partnered with Alhambra-based chefs and food bloggers LatinoFoodie to bring you delicious, flavorful recipes. Today's recipe is for watermelon agua fresca, a refreshing summer drink. Read more or jump straight to the recipe!

Heaven. That’s how I felt when I sipped the watermelon agua fresca I made today. The drink is so refreshing and sweet — it brings a smile to my face every time.

Chilled aguas frescas are perfect during the warm spring and summer months. Beautiful in color and taste, aguas frescas, or "fresh waters," are refreshing beverages mostly found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the southwest United States. Some of the more common flavors include tamarind, melon, lulo, mamey, hibiscus, and agua de horchata, or sweetened rice milk.

Typically made with fruits, grains, and seeds, aguas frescas also include water, sugar, and sometimes herbs or spices. They’re simple to make at home and you can easily tweak a recipe to your liking by adding soda water or alcohol, like vodka or rum. I’ve even replaced the sugar with an artificial sweetener to avoid the spike in blood sugar. Make sure to select fruits that are in season to ensure optimum sweetness. 

I’ve sipped all sorts of aguas frescas, but my favorite continues to be made with watermelon. Here is a simple recipe for an agua fresca de sandia, or watermelon. You can always fancy it up by adding thinly sliced limes and rimming the glass with chile powder and salt, a nice complement to the sweet beverage.

Watermelon Agua FrescaPrep time: 15 minutesServes: 8 to 10

  • 4 cups watermelon, cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups filtered water (you can always add more if you’d like)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Lime, sprigs of mint, and chile powder for garnish

In a blender, add the watermelon chunks and three cups of water. If you have an extra large blender, then add all four cups of watermelon.

Pour the pureed watermelon mixture into a large pitcher. Add the other cup of the remaining filtered water.

Stir in the sugar along with a few slices of lime. The best part of an agua fresca is that you can adjust the sweetness level to your personal taste. I always recommend adding the sugar slowly, taking sips along the way until you have it just the way you like.

On a small plate, add a 1/8 cup of chile powder with an equal part of sugar and mix with a fork. Just like you would for a margarita, rim the glass with lime and dip into the sugar and chile powder mixture.

Add ice and pour the watermelon agua fresca. Top with a fresh sprig of mint and enjoy!

What did I tell you? Pure heaven.

This recipe was originally published on LatinoFoodie, a blog created by Alhambra chefs and food lovers Art Rodriguez and Stephen Chavez. LatinoFoodie highlights cultural trends in food and beverages and features original and adapted recipes, product reviews, and food events.

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