Easy Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe (Agua De Sandia)

This watermelon agua fresca or agua de sandia is a refreshing and delicious treat the whole family will love! Made with ripe, sweet and juicy watermelon it’s a great way to keep hydrated all summer long. Hurry and make my authentic watermelon agua fresca recipe for your next gathering.

A pitcher and glass filled with ice cold watermelon agua fresca. There's also some limes off to the side.
Watermelon Agua Fresca

What is Agua Fresca

Agua means water and fresca fresh as in refreshing or cooling water.

Another translation for these drinks is “coolers”. So this would be a Mexican watermelon cooler.

Agua fresca is one of the most popular beverage all over Mexico, in the United States, and in some countries in Central America.

Typically it consists of blending seasonal fresh fruit with water and a sweetener. 

Sometimes edible fruits, nuts, grains and seeds are also used. As well as a combination of fruits or any of the previously mentioned items.

I grew up drinking fresh watermelon water and to me it was and still is the perfect drink and best agua fresca flavor to keep me cool during hot weather. Specially when I’m craving cold drinks with just a bit of sugar. This agua fresca is a great addition to summer barbecues or family get togethers, as well as a great way to fully enjoy watermelon season. 

Is Agua Fresca The Same as Juice?

No. An agua fresca is blended fruit mixed with water, and juice is extracted from the fruit and generally not watered down. You can call it fresh fruit water too. 

So in this watermelon agua fresca we are taking the watermelon juice and combining it with water to create a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. 

Two small glasses filled with ice cubes and Mexican dragon fruit agua fresca.
Dragon Fruit Agua Fresca

Traditional Fruit Agua Fresca Flavors

Traditionally this non-alcoholic drink can be made with fresh fruit, dried edible flowers, rice, nuts, or seeds. 

When fruits are used they are blended with a bit of water, sometimes strained to remove pulp, then mixed with more water and traditionally sugar is also added.

Some popular fruit based aguas frescas flavors both in peoples home and with street vendors are:

  • agua de limon or lime flavor
  • pepino or cucumber (in Southern Mexico white cucumber is popular)
  • chia y limón or lime and chia
  • agua de melon or cantaloupe
  • fresa or strawberry agua fresca
  • coco or coconut
  • mango
  • piña or pineapple
  • tunas or cactus fruit
  • pitahaya or dragon fruit
  • naranja or orange (there’s also an orange-papaya version)
  • ciruela or plums
  • agua de tamarindo or tamarind
  • agua de platano or banana agua fresca
  • guava or agua de guayava
  • agua fresca de marañon which is the “cashew apple” or fruit in which cashews grow.
A glass filled with agua de jamaica or Mexican hibiscus tea.
Agua de Jamaica

Other Popular Flavors

In the case of edible flowers, specifically hibiscus flowers or jamaica, they are simmered in hot water to make a tea. The tea is then strained and mixed with sugar and additional water.

Rice agua fresca, or horchata, is made by soaking the rice in water until soft or overnight. Cinnamon and sometimes nuts can be added when blending the rice. Sometimes sugar or condensed milk may be added for sweetness.

The process for barley or cebada agua fresca is similar to that of making horchata.

Agua de avena or oats agua fresca is another popular agua fresca flavor.

There’s even a mazapan agua fresca made with Mexico’s beloved sweet peanut candy, mazapan de cacahuate.

Ingredients for making Mexican watermelon agua fresca inside small bowls. They are watermelon chunks, lime slices, muscovado sugar, lime juice, water and salt.

Why You’ll Love Agua Fresca

They are super refreshing on warmer days.
You can enjoy fresh, natural, seasonal fruits.
Healthier than soft drinks – if you don’t use sugar!
A quick way to use up leftover fruit.
A great way to use fruit that isn’t at it’s juiciest or sweetest.

Angled view down onto a wood table with a large bowl filled with chopped seedless watermelon, sliced lime, lime juice inside a small cup, a small bowl with sea salt, another small bowl with light brown sugar, and a pitcher filled with cold water.

Watermelon Agua Fresca Ingredients

Ripe Watermelon: Try to use a seedless watermelon so you don’t have to strain the agua fresca. Your favorite sweet variety is perfect.
Water: I use filtered ice cold water.
Fresh Lime Juice: Not everyone adds it but I love how it adds the perfect balance of sweet with a touch of tart. Also it helps preserve the fresh flavor longer. (If you don’t have limes lemon juice would work for a different flavor.)
Sugar: Traditionally refined white sugar is used but it’s not vegan, so I use muscovado sugar. See variations below. 
Salt: This is not traditional at all but it’s something I’ve done for years because it adds a light touch of savory taste. You can omit if you’d like.
Ice Cubes: Plenty for serving.
To Decorate: Some lime slices to decorate your pitcher or serving glasses. If you’d like could also use fresh mint leaves too.

Agua fresca being poured into a glass filled with ice cubes.

How to Make Agua de Sandia

An agua fresca is one of the most delicious Mexican non-alcoholic beverage because it’s so easy to make. 

In the case of agua de sandia or watermelon agua fresca, the part that will take the longest is the cutting the chunks of watermelon – though it’s super easy to do! Once the watermelon is ready to use it’s just a matter of blending.

Blender cup filled with watermelon chunks, lime juice, and sugar to make watermelon agua fresca.

Step 1:
Place the watermelon cubes, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a blender cup – depending on the size of the blender cup, this may need to be done in batches. Blend on high speed until smooth, if needed add a little bit of water to help blend the ingredients.

Pouring Mexican watermelon juice into a pitcher filled with ice cubes.

Step 2:
Place some ice cubes inside a large pitcher then pour the watermelon mixture into it. If you’d like to strain it simple put a fine mesh sieve over the pitcher and strain, discard any leftover pulp.

Mixing blended watermelon agua fresca with water inside a glass pitcher.

Step 3:
Pour in the cool water and mix. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Should Agua Fresca be Strained?

Many people do strain all agua fresca varieties.

When it comes to fruit agua frescas, I personally don’t like to strain them. My blender does a pretty good job at breaking down the contents. Plus discarding the pulp is wasting natural plant fiber and vitamins and minerals.

But straining is completely up to you. Just pass the blended fruit mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a pitcher. 

A glass pitcher filled with agua de sandia or watermelon agua fresca, there's also a tall glass with ice cubes filled with it and lime slices.

How to Serve Watermelon Agua Fresca

Agua fresca, all types of agua fresca flavors, are best served very cold and with plenty of ice cubes.

The cold temperature accentuates the natural flavors. Not to mention really hitting the spot on a hot day or when you’re super thirsty on a hot summer day. 

Have fun and add slices of the fruit, fresh mint sprigs, or some lime wedges to make the glass a bit prettier. For a fizzy touch you could mix the watermelon mixture with club soda instead of regular water. 

This watermelon agua fresca goes perfect with foods you normally serve during the hot summer months. 

Dishes like vegan Mexican ensalada de polloMexican Macaroni Salad, with Chorizo Cheese Dip for a dinner party, Enchiladas Michoacanas

Tacos of course are another fantastic main dish to pair this delicious drink. Try vegan Tacos de Bistec or Steak Tacos, vegan fish tacos, Tacos de Papa Dorados (Potato Tacos), or my Vegan Birria Tacos.

How to Store Watermelon Agua Fresca

This refreshing Mexican drink will only keep fresh for one day, it loses it taste and a bit of the color the next day. You can still drink it the next day but it won’t be as vibrant tasting.

Watermelon Agua Fresca F.A.Q.

Is Watermelon Agua Fresca Vegan Friendly?

If you use muscovado or other unrefined sugar then yes. Instead of sugar you could use agave nectar or maple syrup – though maple syrup isn’t a typical Mexican ingredient.

Can I Use Frozen Watermelon?

Yes you can, though fresh watermelon will taste better.

Can Watermelon Agua Fresca be Made Ahead?

Yes! It will keep fresh in your refrigerator all day long. You could also make it the night before your gathering.

Can I Spike Watermelon Agua Fresca?

Yes, you can add some shots of tequila to the pitcher for an adult version. Or with the leftover watermelon you can grab your cocktail muddler and make my skinny watermelon margarita.

Sugar-Free Agua Fresca or Lightly Sweetened

I like to use very little sugar, if any at all. The reason being that I don’t feel the need to add more sweetness to a sweet fruit. If I don’t use lime juice, then in fact I won’t use any sweetener. Or if the fruit is extra sweet even with lime juice I’ll omit the sugar.

So if I’m using sugar or a sweetener, it is then added to the blender ingredients.

I would also suggest to stick to muscovado sugar because it not only adds a great flavor, but it’s also vegan!

Salt to Help Bring Out The Flavor

Something I like to do with my agua fresca is to add a pinch of salt. Yep, salt!

Salt has long been used to enhance flavor in food. That’s exactly what it does to the watermelon and lime juice in my agua fresca recipe. 

Mexican agua de sandia or watermelon agua fresca inside a tall glass filled with ice cubes and a lime slice on the rim.

Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

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.

Amigos go ahead and try out my super easy recipe for refreshing and delicious watermelon agua fresca or agua de sandia. I promise it’s going to become one of your favorite summer drinks.

I hope you try this watermelon agua fresca very soon!

Remember if you try my recipe please make sure to leave a star rating in the recipe card and tag me on social media. You’ll find me on IG, FB & Pinterest under @MexicanMadeMeatless.

Nancy Lopez author of Mexican Made Meatless

Gracias

I’m so happy you stopped by. If you have any questions or want to let me know how you liked this recipe, do leave a comment. Muchas gracias, I appreciate you!

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A pitcher and glass filled with ice cold watermelon agua fresca. There's also some limes off to the side.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
This watermelon agua fresca or agua de sandia is a refreshing and delicious treat the whole family will love! My watermelon agua fresca recipe is made with ripe, sweet and juicy watermelon it's a great way to keep hydrated all summer long.
5 from 22 votes
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Video

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Blending Time 7 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 83 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. of seedless watermelon pieces the weight is just the fruit
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice optional but gives a yummy twist
  • 1/4 cup muscovado sugar (add up to 1/2 cup sugar if desired, or agave to taste)
  • 1 pinch sea salt optional for extra flavor
  • 4 cups cold water
  • plenty of ice cubes

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the watermelon pieces and weigh without the peel. Place the watermelon cubes, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a blender cup – depending on the size of the blender cup, this may need to be done in batches.
    Add the pinch of salt, if using.
    Ingredients for making Mexican watermelon agua fresca inside small bowls. They are watermelon chunks, lime slices, muscovado sugar, lime juice, water and salt.
  • Blend until smooth, if needed add a little bit of water to help blend the ingredients.
    Blender cup filled with watermelon chunks, lime juice, and sugar to make watermelon agua fresca.
  • Place some ice cubes inside a large pitcher then pour the watermelon mixture into it. If you’d like to strain it simple put a fine mesh sieve over the pitcher and strain, discard any leftover pulp.
    Pouring Mexican watermelon juice into a pitcher filled with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the water and give a very good stir. Taste and if necessary adjust either the sugar or water.
    Mixing blended watermelon agua fresca with water inside a glass pitcher.
  • Serve right away or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve in glass with plenty of ice cubes and enjoy!
    A glass pitcher filled with agua de sandia or watermelon agua fresca, there's also a tall glass with ice cubes filled with it and lime slices.

Notes

Taste your watermelon and add sugar according to the sweetness of your watermelon. Or if you’d like you can also omit the sugar all together. 

Nutrition

Serving: 6servingsCalories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 865IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!

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Recipe Rating




31 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can wait to make this! I love anything made with watermelon and this is such a refreshing way to enjoy it. It also helps on to relieve the heat of these hots days we’re having. Gotta have that pinch of salt with watermelon.

  2. 5 stars
    we make with the kids during the hot summer days, we even freeze it to make them popsicle, fun and delicious and refreshing

  3. 5 stars
    My friend told me about this recipe and I had to try it! I love watermelon, but never made it as a juice before. Tastes like summer in a glass!

  4. 5 stars
    I always prefer homemade juice for my kids, and always try to keep it healthy and tasty. This is one of the best, thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Watermelon agua fresca is so perfect for this time of year as the heat rises. This recipe was great sitting right next to the pool.

  6. 5 stars
    This looks incredibly refreshing, and something the whole family can enjoy! I will definitely be trying this recipe this summer. A great poolside beverage!

  7. 5 stars
    I love ordering agua frescas from my local taquería but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a watermelon agua fresca as good as this recipe. Next time, I’m going to accidentally drop a shot of tequila blanco in it.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this Mexican watermelon cooler recipe. Perfect for quenching thirst this summer. I felt this cooler is perfect to keep hydrated. Also its a good recipe to get extra vitamins and minerals.

  9. 5 stars
    Had a giant watermelon to use up but wanted something different than just eating it. This drink was so delicious and I didn’t add sugar no need.