Better than punch, tea, and even lemonade, aguas frescas are drinks made of fresh fruit puree. In Mexico they are typically made with tropical fruits, melons, and even grains—which include the rice drink horchata. Street vendors popularized the drink but nowadays you can even find agua fresca made in top restaurants. The Mexican soft drink company Jarritos is based on traditional aguas frescas recipes, but replaces water with soda.
Make your own version of agua fresca at home using your favorite fruit. This recipe for uses ripe seasonal strawberries. The sweet-tart flavor of strawberries is very refreshing and palate-cleansing. It couldn't be easier to make this agua fresca. The combination is simply pureed fruit, water, and a little sugar. Make a pitcherful for this weekend's Fourth of July get-together and treat yourself and your family and friends to a cooling drink on a hot day.
Strawberry Agua Fresca
1 pound strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and coarsely chopped
4 cups water or soda water
1/4 cup sugar
Puree strawberries in a blender.
Combine the water and sugar in a large pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour in strawberry puree and stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Stir before serving. Yield 4 to 6 servings.