Learn how to make a refreshing watermelon agua fresca, with a twist!
Agua frescas are a fantastic way to keep hydrated and get extra vitamins and minerals into your body.
This watermelon agua fresca or agua de sandia is a delicious treat the whole family will love!
What Does Agua Fresca Mean
Agua fresca means fresh water (as in refreshing) or cooling water.
Some people may also translate them as “coolers”. As in watermelon cooler.
How Do You Make Agua Frescas
Traditionally these non-alcoholic drinks are made with fruits, dried edible flowers, rice, nuts, and seeds.
When fruits are used they are blended with a bit of water, sometimes strained to remove pulp, then mixed with more water. Traditionally sugar is also added.
In the case of edible flowers, specifically hibiscus 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 the similar to horchata.
Seeds like chia make a popular agua fresca when combined with limes, water and a sweetener.
All types of these delicious drinks are served ice cold and with ice cubes. Of course living up to the name of being refreshing or cooling specially on a hot summer day.
How to Make Watermelon Agua Fresca
Agua frescas are the most delicious non-alcoholic drinks because they’re 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 up of the fruit.
Once the watermelon is ready to use it’s just a matter of blending.
First you start with a preferably seedless watermelon and cut it into small pieces. Place them in a blender — depending on the size of the blender cup, this may need to be done in batches.
Then I like to add a little bit of lime juice ice boost the flavor and also help keep the water fresher longer. But not everyone uses the lime juice and it’s ok to omit it.
Sugar-Free Agua Fresca or A Little Sweetener
I like to use very little sugar, if 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 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 in Agua Fresca?
Something I like to do with my agua frescas is to add a pinch of sea 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.
Blending and Straining the Agua
Once all of the ingredients are in the blender, it’s then processed until all the fruit has broken down and sugar melted.
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.
How to Serve Agua Fresca
All types of agua frescas 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.
Have fun and add slices of the fruit or some lime slices to make the glass a bit prettier.
Try My Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe
HOW TO MAKE WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA (AGUA DE SANDIA)
- 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 to 1/2 cup muscovado sugar or agave if desired
- small pinch of sea salt
- 4 cups of cold water
- plenty of ice cubes
- Prepare the watermelon pieces and weigh without the peel. Place in the blender then pour in the lime juice, add the sugar and blend until the watermelon is broken down. Add the pinch of salt, if using, and blend for another minutes.
- Pour into a large pitcher with ice cubes. Pour in the water and give the agua a very good stir. Taste and if necessary adjust either the sugar or water. Some people like to strain the mix into the pitcher, feel free to do so if desired. You can also add more water to make it thinner if you’d like.
- Serve in glass with plenty of ice cubes and enjoy!
The Agua de Sandia will really only keep fresh for one day, it loses 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 very soon! As always if you try my recipe please make sure to tag me on social media. You’ll find me on IG, FB & Pinterest under @MexicanMadeMeatless