Agua de Pepino ( cucumber water) is a refreshing drink that is popular in Mexico. It is one of the large variety of the popular Aguas Frescas ( fresh or cool waters). Agua frescas are refreshing drinks made from fresh sweet and sour fruits or grains, (like Horchata made from rice,sugar and cinnamon-recipe coming soon.), water is mixed with the fruits as well as a sweetener and sometimes lemon or lime juice. These drinks are very popular in our homes and also sold in restaurants,markets and small street vendors. They are a great alternative to the “sugar water” or American soft drinks , are more nutritious and in my opinion taste so much better than colas -not even a comparison. The variety is quite big with flavors and favorites for everyone. Mine were Cucumber, Jamaica (hibiscus),tamarind, strawberry and watermelon.
I know it sounds kinda weird, even if you love cucumbers. I too was hesitant the first time I had this as a kid, but it quickly became a favorite. Agua de pepino is a great drink to have on a really hot summer day, it makes you feel very refreshed. It is because cucumbers have a high water content which of course keeps you hydrated in the heat. Cucumbers have a mineral called silica that is essential for a healthy complexion and muscles. They are also high in fiber and in vitamin C.
When I’ve made it it was just by sense and taste using cucumbers,lemon/lime,mint, sugar and water. But for this blog post I referenced my Cocina de la Familia by Marilyn Tausend, book and added a few of my own things.
Your Ingredients:makes 4-6 servings
2 large cucumbers-peeled,seeds removed,and chopped into chunks
6-8 teaspoons of sugar
6 cups of cold water
1. Prepare the cucumbers,note if you use English cucumbers the seeds are so small they don’t really need to be removed and the skin is thinner so you can choose to use it as well. Place the cucumber pieces, lemon juice,sugar and 2 cups of cold water in a blender. Blend until it has begun to foam.
2. In a large pitcher pour the cucumber mixture and add 4 more cups of cold water, mix thoroughly and taste for sugar or lemon, add several sprigs of mint. If serving right away add ice cubes to the glasses, if not you can keep in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
3. If you want to make a nice presentation for guest or your family :),in a plate pour some sugar and take one of your glasses make sure the rim is damp, and place on top of the sugar, move around a bit until the glass rim is covered in the sugar. Then ice if you like and pour the cucumber water, add 1 or 2 mint leaves. Cut a slice of cucumber and lemon, add a small slit and place on the glass.
This is also a great to use up all those extra summer cucumbers! Sit back,take a sip and enjoy!
If you are interested in Marilyn Tausend’s book you can find it here,