Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Coolers

If you're having folks over for a cookout this weekend, may I recommend a fun beverage?

Aguas frescas ("fresh water") are Mexican and Central American drinks that are an ideal pairing for grilled or spicy foods, especially on a hot day. Traditionally aguas frescas are made from fruit, vegetables and grains. For our discussion, I'll stick to fruit-based aguas frescas.

The technique is simple: puree cut-up fruit with with water until smooth (let your blender run for a minute at least). Add a little lemon, salt or sugar to taste. The texture should be smooth and watery - an agua fresca should be on the watery end of the spectrum, not the juicy/pulpy end. Dilute your puree with more cold water if needed to get a drinkable consistency. Serve your agua fresca very cold.

An agua fresca is an ideal way to use up dead-ripe fruit. You can also use the fruit purees you find the freezer case (Goya sells passionfruit, mango, guabana, and other exotic-to-me fruits). Some fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums) will start to brown after they've been pureed. Add extra lemon to these, but drink them the same day you make them for best visual results.

These aguas frescas are made from strawberry, plum, passionfruit and blackberry purees. Good fruits for you to try:
  • Cantaloupe or Honeydew
  • Peaches or Nectarines
  • Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries
  • Watermelon
I may be stating the obvious, but ... these drinks are wonderfully refreshing on their own, but it won't be a tragedy should some tequila or rum happen to fall into your glass.

2 comments:

mary said...

Oh, a tragedy indeed! haha...these look delicious! I may just have to try one this weekend!

Sunday Cook said...

Yes, I'm off to my local fruitery to see what I can blend into a jewel-toned treat for later.

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