On hot summer days when it's too hot to eat, this is the drink I want to sip all day. Neither a soft drink nor a fruit juice, agua fresca, meaning ‘fresh water’ in Spanish, is a refreshing, subtly flavoured drink that is not too sweet. Agua frescas are sold by street vendors throughout Mexico and their carts are loaded with huge glass barrels of delicious thirst-quenching fruity flavours.
You can use watermelon or strawberry, but my favourite is white peach. There is a gorgeous stone fruit farm in the next village from us and during the summer months, we gorge ourselves on cases of their peaches and nectarines.
Make sure to adjust the sweetness to your taste and the ripeness of the fruit. Just remember, it’s around one part fruit to two parts water. You can also vary the recipe by adding mineral water, or even vodka or tequila if you want a grown-up version.
- 6–7 very ripe white peaches, quartered, stone removed
- 1 litre (4 cups) very cold water
- 2 tsp agave nectar or 2 tbsp cane sugar, plus extra to taste
- juice of 1 lime
- handful of mint leaves
- lots of ice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 3 hours
Place the fruit and 500–750 ml (2–3 cups) water in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a large jug.
Add the rest of the water and the agave nectar, lime juice and mint leaves. Stir well and add the ice. Add more water and sweetener if needed.
Serve chilled – it’s nicer if you let it sit for a few hours in the fridge to get it really cold.
Recipe from Hugo and Elsa by Michelle Crawford, with photographs by Michelle Crawford.