Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Agua Frescas from deep in the Heart~

Drink your water! Did you drink enough water today? The resounding demand during the hot summer months is to drink your H2O. We all know we don't drink enough & our bodies need it. Over the weekend we were in San Antonio working outside in the heat during an Estate/Yard sale (what were we thinking it's August in Texas???) We all thought we were drinking liquids a plenty but not nearly enough for the heat & the moving, packing, dragging & lifting of multiple boxes of dishware, etc... Later in the day we all wondered why we hadn't forced more liquid down. Seriously, we are all smarter than that!! (Chapter 3 vs 6 of thou shalt not perish in the Texas heat all about staying hydrated...)

In Mexico the answer to quenching a thirst is often found in the Vitrolero, the large glass barrels sold from street carts & in mercados. Some restaurants will actually offer the Agua del dia free with a meal. Agua Fresca simply put means Fresh Water. So perfect this heavenly combination of water & fresh fruits, surely it must be difficult...the aguas are colorful & refreshing beyond belief. Agua Frescas are a perfect compliment to the spicy foods found in Latin American cuisine, in fact many countries have a version of Agua Fresca.

Watermelon Agua Fresca ~ Agua de Sandía con Menta

2 cups ripe Watermelon,
1/4 cup Sugar
4 cups Water
4 Tbsp. Mint

Cut melon into cubes & de-seed if not using a seedless variety. Place melon cubes into blender with 1 cup of water. Blend till the consistency is very fine. Add mint & sugar. Continue blending 1 minute more. Slowly add 1 more cup of water. Pour this mixture into a pitcher adding the remaining water. In Mexico this mixture is either strained or served with pulp. It is your choice. We enjoy the bits & pieces. Chill, serve over ice & garnished with mint leaves (optional).

**Also shown is a fresh squeezed lemon juice over sparkling water.

An old fashioned juicer makes this summer cooler a little more authentic~

Lemon Raspberry Refesca

14 oz pureed & strained Raspberries
4 Lemons of Lemons,
1/4 cup Sugar
Sparkling Water
Lemon Peel, sliced & twisted

Strain Raspberry pulp & lemon juice. Mix in sugar till sugar is incorporated. Pour 1/4 cup Raspberry, Lemon mixture in glass, add ice. Pour sparkling water over ice, garnish with lemon twist & serve immediately.