>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Agua de Sandia in Spanish literally translates to Watermelon water. Agua de Sandia is a flavor of Mexican beverages called aguas frescas (fresh waters) . These are beverages made of several ingredients or flavors including fruits, like watermelon, cantaloupe melon, cucumber, lime, strawberries, papaya, guava, tamarind and the list goes on. Nuts, seeds and grains can also be used for example, 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 ingredients are blended, water is added and some sugar can also be added to slightly sweeten the drinks.
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, ( at least that is what I've experienced). If you walk into a Mexican restaurant or go to Mexico you will see huge glass containers with all the different flavors available. No matter what flavor you choose it will also be a great way to cool off in the summer heat. 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. 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 as compared to soft drinks or other sugary drinks which are full of love-handle growing ingredients and preservatives (E numbers), yuck!
* Please note this is a small recipe enough for 6 servings. But it can easily be doubled or tripled to fit your needs. *
1/4 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 1 large lime
3 Tbs. granulated white sugar ( adjust to your taste)
Ice cubes (optional)
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.
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 ! But just a tip for you, agua frescas never have ice crushed or blended in the mix they are not overly sweetened and are always made with seasonal fruit or fresh grains. If you see it different than I've told you, run .... OK you don't have to run, but don't drink it , it isn't an agua fresca!