Home » Agua Fresca Recipes to Brighten Your Springtime Afternoons

Agua Fresca Recipes to Brighten Your Springtime Afternoons

by Keith langston
colorful jugs of Agua Fresca

Chef Denise Roa at Rancho La Puerta shares her best agua fresca recipes, which are delicious infused waters perfect for warm sunny days.

Image: Rancho La Puerta

Spring has arrived! The days are getting warmer, the sun is shining longer, and bright daffodils are once again adding some much-needed color to the world. And what better way to celebrate the warmer weather than with some delicious and healthy agua fresca recipes? Agua frescas are waters that are mixed with fruit, flowers, or herbs. It’s a traditional drink in Mexico that serves as a delicious alternative to soda and juice.

Rancho La Puerta songs the Mexican mountains

Rancho La Puerto is nestled in-between rolling hills and endless blue skies

Rancho La Puerta, a destination resort and spa in northern Mexico, has teamed up with Passport to share some of their best agua fresca recipes.  Even better, at the end of this article, the resort is offering a free downloadable PDF filled with even more agua fresca recipes for you to try!

The best part about agua frescas is that they’re so incredibly simple. With just a few easy ingredients – filtered water, ice, and fruit – you’ve got yourself a delicious and refreshing beverage.

 

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Hibiscus agua fresca is a favorite at La Cocina Que Canta, the Ranch’s on-site cooking school. Previous guests of the resort will surely recognize this drink as it’s a favorite of the resort staff and is served regularly. Hibiscus flowers (also called Jamaica flowers) deliver a wonderful blend of fruity and floral flavors and turn the drink an intoxicating plum purple. With a hint of citrus and mint added in to balance out the drink, you’ll be making this fresca for months to come.

1 gallon or 16 8 oz servings

Hibiscus agua fresca

Rancho La Puerta’s hibiscus agua fresca

Ingredients

~ 1 ounce of dried hibiscus (Jamaica) flowers
~ 1 cup of lime or lemon juice
~ Handful of fresh mint
~ 1 gallon of filtered/spring water
~ Ice
~ Garnish: mint sprigs or lime slices

Preparation

~ Bring four cups of water to a boil.
~ Add the dried hibiscus flowers to the water and simmer for five minutes, then take off the heat, and let the water cool. ~ Next, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add fresh mint leaves to the water and boil for three minutes, then take off the heat, and let the water cool.
~ Strain the hibiscus and mint waters through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Discard or compost the hibiscus flowers and mint sprigs.
~ Pour the remaining liquid into a one-gallon drink dispenser. Add ice and purified water to fill to the top. Give the agua fresca a good stir.
~ Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with mint sprigs or lime slices.


Cucumber & Ginger Agua Fresca

For an energizing post-workout drink, the cucumber and ginger agua fresca is a sure bet. Cucumbers are a great source of antioxidants, and ginger is known for having anti-inflammatory properties, making this the perfect drink to recharge and heal after a long run or hike. It’s also a drink packed with electrolytes, so it’s an excellent way to stay hydrated when spending time outdoors!

1 gallon or 16 8 oz servings

cucumber and ginger ague fresca

Rancho La Puerta’s cucumber and ginger agua fresca

Ingredients

~ 5 cucumbers
~ 1 cup of Mexican lime or lemon juice
~ 1⁄2 stalk of celery
~ 1 large piece of peeled ginger (approximately a 4-inch chunk)
~ 1 gallon of purified water
~ Ice
~ Garnish: cucumber slices, celery sprigs, and/or lime slices

Preparation

~ Bring two cups of water to a boil.
~ Smash ginger with the back of a knife to release its juices. Add the ginger to the water and boil for three minutes. Take off the heat, and let the water cool. Discard or compost the ginger.
~ Peel and de-seed the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers into chunks, and purée in batches in a blender until smooth. Add the celery to the blender and purée one minute longer. Strain the cucumber and celery purée through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, and use a large spoon to press down on the solids. Discard or compost the purée and set the juice aside.
~ Add the ginger water and lime juice to the celery-cucumber juice mix. Stir well. Pour the juice into a one-gallon drink dispenser, and add ice and purified water to fill to the top. Give the agua fresca a good stir.
~ Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with cucumber slices, celery sprigs, and/or lime slices.


Watermelon Agua Fresca

Nothing brings about images of warm weather, family picnics, and bright sunny days quite like watermelon. Its mesmerizing ruby color is only further enhanced by its deliciously sweet flavor and hydrating properties. In Rancho La Puerta’s recipe, watermelon is blended with mint to create a subtle, refreshing, and absolutely perfect drink to enjoy.

1 gallon or 16 8 oz servings

watermelon agua fresca

Rancho La Puerta’s watermelon agua fresca

Ingredients

~1 (8 or 9 pound) watermelon, rind removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
~ Handful of fresh mint
~ 1 gallon of purified water
~ Ice
~ Garnish: mint sprigs or watermelon slices

Preparation

~ Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add fresh mint leaves to the water and boil for three more minutes. Take off the heat, and let the water cool. Discard or compost the mint.
~ Purée the watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain the watermelon purée through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, and use a large spoon to press down on the solids. Discard or compost the purée and set the juice aside.
~ Add the room-temperature mint water to the watermelon juice and stir well.
~ Pour the mixture into a one-gallon drink dispenser and add ice and purified water to fill to the top. Give the agua fresca a good stir.
~ Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with mint sprigs and/or watermelon slices.


Lime Agua Fresca

Sometimes, you don’t need anything more than simple lime-infused water. Citrus and water pair perfectly together, and we’ve all seen hotel lobbies around the world offering up lemon water or lime water. But with the Ranch’s agua fresca, the flavors are enhanced and blended with mint to add an extra layer of complexity. This fresca also pairs well with sweeteners, transforming it into a homemade limeade!

1 gallon or 16 8 oz servings

lime agua fresca

Rancho La Puerta’s lime agua fresca

Ingredients

~ 8 Mexican limes
~ Handful of fresh mint
~ 1 gallon of purified water
~ Ice
~Garnish: mint sprigs or lime slices
***Naturally Sweet Rancho Lime Agua Fresca Option: Use a handful of fresh stevia sprigs to make stevia infused water, and add it to the 1-gallon drink dispenser. Directions are listed below. (you can also use a traditional simple syrup if desired.) 

Preparation

~ Cut the mint leaves en chiffonade (in 1/16″ slices) and discard or compost the stems.
~ Juice the limes.
~ Add the mint leaves and the lime juice to a one-gallon drink dispenser.
~ For the Naturally Sweet variation, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add a handful of fresh stevia leaves to the water and boil for three more minutes. Take off the heat, and let the water cool. Discard or compost the stevia.
~ Add the stevia water to the dispenser.
~ For both variations, add ice and purified water to fill the drink dispenser to the top. Stir well. Serve in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with mint sprigs and/or lime slices.


For more of Chef Denise Roa’s agua fresca recipes, download the PDF recipe book for free here.

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