Strawberry Agua Fresca

Summer is definitely upon us here in the Southwest, and that’s the best excuse to have refreshing drinks available at all times. Usually my go-to summer drink is lemonade, but this year things are different. A few weeks ago, Gaby over at What’s Gaby Cooking posted about one of her favorite summer memories — drinking refreshing agua fresca with her friends on weekend trips to Mexico. Just thinking about the possibilities of this popular Mexican drink made my mouth water.

During a recent BBQ we hosted, I decided I would try my hand at this traditional fruity and refreshing Mexican water. Agua fresca, which translates to fresh water, is basically just a fruity flavored water. It’s a lovely refreshing drink for the hot summer months that lie ahead, not to mention a break from the norms of ice water and lemonade. It’s hard to believe that something so simple can be so good!

Strawberry Agua Fresca

{Print this Recipe}
Here’s what you’ll need:
Makes: about 6 cups
Note: all of these measurements can be easily altered to suit your taste
– 4 cups fresh strawberries, tips trimmed off
– 6 cups water
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
– 1/2 cup sparkling water (optional)

Combine half of the strawberries, half of the water and half of the sugar in a blender and blend on high speed until the the strawberries are all pureed and the water is a nice pink color. Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher to separate all the seeds from the liquid. Repeat the process until all of the strawberries, water and sugar have been blended together and strained.

Add the lime juice and sparkling water (if using) to the blended and strained water and stir to mix well. Refrigerate and serve cold over ice.

For something so simple, this is probably one of the most delicious drinks ever. It’s fruity and refreshing — perfect for a hot summer day — and totally easy to throw together in no time. The fresh strawberries really give the water a distinct fruity flavor, and drinking it ice cold really intensifies that flavor. The addition of lime juice adds just enough tang to counter the sweetness of the berries and sugar. I think you could easy leave out both the sugar (and even the lime) and still get the same effect and make a healthier version.

This agua fresca is also really easy to adapt to anything you like. You can use any fruit you like as long as it will puree up and strain easily and you can adjust all the measurements to adapt it to your tastes.

This is a drink that I plan to make over and over again this summer (we’ve already made it twice!) with different fruits. Just the thought of sitting out on a hot summer afternoon drinking a cold, fruity drink is interrupting my work flow! Must. Have. Agua. Fresca.

Check out Gaby’s watermelon version and get yourself some inspiration for fruity summer drinks!