Enjoy the essence of the sweet summer strawberries with this refreshing Strawberry Agua Fresca drink. These wonderful Strawberry Agua Fresca drink is light-bodied and very refreshing fruit drinks made from whatever fruit is in season combined with sweetener (traditionally sugar) and water.
Fresh fruit drinks are very popular all over Mexico and are served from large barrel-shaped glass containers. Agua Fresca or Aguas de Frutas – literally translated in Spanish as “fresh water” or “fruit waters.”
Strawberry Agua Fresca Recipe:
Strawberry Aqua Fresca Recipe
4 cups ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced*
1 cup granulated sugar**
8 cups water, divided
Ice cubes or crushed ice (optional)
* Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself from your local strawberry fields or purchase from your local produce stands and/or Farmers' markets. In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season (they are sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment). When purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and fresh green caps (stems). The caps should be bright green, fresh looking, and fully attached.
** The amount of sweetener needed will vary depending on the sweetness of the fruit you are using. Some strawberries may not require any sugar. Sugar substitutes may be used to reduce calories further.
Prepare strawberries for serving by rinsing with caps still attached under a gentle spray of cool water; pat dry with a paper towel. Wash, hull, and slice the berries just before you plan to use them.
In a large bowl, place the strawberries, sugar, and one (1) cup of water. Mash the strawberries slightly and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to macerate for approximately 4 hours.
After macerating the strawberries, remove strawberry mixture from the refrigerator and place in a blender. Process the strawberry mixture until liquefied and smooth.
Pour the pureed strawberry liquid through a wire mesh strainer set over a large bowl; strain the mixture, discarding the pulp and seeds. Add the remaining 7 cups of water and mix well.
NOTE: Traditionally an authentic aqua frescas are made without blenders and done by simply mashing the fruit with a fork or masher before adding the water and sweetener.
Chill at least 30 minutes (several hours are better) before serving. Serve with or without ice cubes.
As a decorative touch, add slices or chunks of strawberries just before serving.
Makes 8 cups.
Source: Photo courtesy of Cooking Light website.