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Mexico On My Plate: Agua De Sandia

Agua frescas are non-alcoholic beverages made from fresh seasonal fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, melon, cucumber, lime, strawberries, papaya, guava, tamarind and the list goes on.
By Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Agua Sandia

Agua Sandia, Mexican Watermelon Drink

Now that summer is here, in the northern hemisphere, there is no better way than cooling off with an agua fresca. Agua frescas are non-alcoholic beverages made from fresh seasonal fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, melon, cucumber, lime, strawberries, papaya, guava, tamarind and the list goes on. Nuts, seeds and grains can also be used like rice, almonds and barley. There is also one made with hibiscus flowers called agua de Jamaica, one of my favorites. The traditional recipes are very simple the fruits/grains are blended, water is added as well as sugar to sweeten the drinks.

Agua de Sandia in Spanish literally translates to watermelon water, the best descriptive translation I can offer you is watermelon lemonade. To me no fruit says summer more than watermelon. Those large, heavy, juicy fruits make the perfect agua fresca. Watermelon is naturally sweet, but not to the point of being sticky sweet. The water content is high which equals hydration in the summer heat. All of these qualities make it one of my favorite agua fresca, it was also the first flavor I recreated for myself.

Mexicans love agua frescas with our meals, they act as a cooling drink to compliment Mexican cuisine. They can also help tone down the burning in your mouth from the spiciness of the dishes, (that is what I’ve personally experienced). If you walk into a Mexican restaurant or go to Mexico you will see huge glass containers with a large variety of flavors available. No matter what flavor you choose it will  be a great way to cool off. They are not sweet like soft drinks and are mostly water content from the fruits so they will actually leave your body feeling refreshed and re-hydrated, unlike a sweet soft drink. These are also perfect for Vegans, Vegetarians and those following a raw diet. I should also mention that they will also be much lower in calories and full of vitamins and antioxidants than compared to soft drinks or other sugary drinks which are full of love-handle growing ingredients and preservatives (E numbers). I promise your children will also love agua frescas. So let them choose their favorite fruits and have some fun.

4.8 from 4 reviews

Mexico On My Plate : Agua de Sandia
 
Prep Time
Total Time
 
Keep cool and stay hydrated this summer with Agua de Sandia. Did I mention it’s low in calories?
Author:
Recipe Type: Drink
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ fresh watermelon ( with rind weight 2.5 lb. or 1.13 kilo – without rind 1.1 lb. or 500 grams)
  • 3 cups or 750 ml cold water
  • The juice from 2 large lime
  • 3 Tbs. granulated white sugar (adjust to your taste)
  • Large Pitcher
  • blender
  • colander/strainer
  • ice cubes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Remove the rind and cut watermelon into cubes. Taste the watermelon to see how sweet it is and to get an idea of how much sugar you will need. Place the watermelon in a blender with half the water (if you have a small blender you may need to do this in batches.) Blend the watermelon until it has completely broken down including the seeds if there are any. Or if you are concerned about the black seeds you can try to pick them out beforehand.
  2. Pour the juice of 2 large limes and the sugar into the pitcher, then place the strainer on top. Gently pour the watermelon water into the pitcher passing it through the strainer. Then add the rest of the water to the pitcher and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Notes
**Before you start taste the watermelon to see how sweet it is, this will give you a better idea of how much sugar will need to be added.** It’s best to allow the water to sit a bit before you serve it , so place inside the refrigerator or cover and leave on the counter for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to server you can add a couple of ice cubes to each glass or just serve and enjoy. The Agua de Sandia will really only keep fresh for one day, it looses it taste and a bit of the color the next day. This recipe can be tweaked and adjusted as you like. By adjusting the sugar amount and even the water amount depending on how juicy the watermelon is.

I hope you try this Agua de Sandia or any other flavor from a local Mexican restaurant very soon. Buen Provecho!

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Nancy Lopez-McHugh is a food blogger, photographer and published author. Most recently she has published "Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide To Better Photos".

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Originally Published: June 21, 2011

22 Responses to Mexico On My Plate: Agua De Sandia

  1. Laura Davis

    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 10:31 am

    In Mexico, my kids loved the agua frescas and had every flavor offered during our trip and a meal was not complete without one. My favorite was the agua de sandia, seeds and all. You rarely see this simple drink in Mexican restaurants in the US, such a shame.

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy Lopez-McHugh Reply

      June 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Real or very authentic Mexican restaurants will usually at least have horchata. But the fruit agua frescas are not as common perhaps due to the shelf life. Glad to hear that the watermelon was your favorite.

  2. Alisha Randell

    Alisha Randell Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Such a fun and refreshing drink…I imagine you could use any seasonal favorite fruits. And since I love spicy I always need something to tone down the heat :)

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy Lopez-McHugh Reply

      June 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Yes any seasonal fruit should work nicely. Perhaps you’ll try it and see if it helps you tone down the spiciness, hehe.

  3. Radhika Penagonda

    Radhika Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    When I made a half-hearted attempt at learning spanish sometime back, Agua fresca was one of the first few words I learnt and hence I remember it so well.

    Watermelon is my favorite summer fruit too, can’t beat mango but!
    Even in India, watermelon juice is a popular summer drink. Never tried a watermelon lemonade though, am sure it must be super refreshing..

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy Lopez-McHugh Reply

      June 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      That’s too funny Radhika! Mango is also one of my favorites too. Will have to do some research on the watermelon Indian juice.

  4. Laura Bashar

    Laura @ Family Spice Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I made a watermelon-strawberry version for my kids and they couldn’t get enough of it. So much lighter than a smoothie.

  5. Tiffany Reply

    June 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    The PERFECT summer drink!

  6. Jeanette Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 7:41 am

    What a refreshing drink for the summer, and a great way to get some fruit into a daily diet!

  7. Keisa Williams Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’m going to try this with 1 substitution: agave nectar instead of sugar :) Sounds yummy!

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy Lopez-McHugh Reply

      June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Keisa, I’m sure the agave nectar will be a great substitute. Thank you!

  8. Sandra Reply

    June 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Love this Nancy. And since I have watermelon in my fridge I may be making this soon.

  9. Sandra's Easy Cooking Reply

    June 23, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Very refreshing drink..looks amazing Nancy!

  10. Bakingmmehungry Reply

    July 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    This looks so refreshing!

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  12. Sebastián Soriano Reply

    July 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    You should try it without the lime juice. Here in Mexico, aguas frescas don’t have lime juice, they’re not lemonades. El agua de mango is my favorite :)

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