Sometimes, I get myself into a bind. Every week at the farmers markets I walk in with a plan. I set a budget, I know exactly what I need to buy and I set off with determination. Within 30 seconds that plan is usually shot to hell. Something over here catches my eye. Something over there catches me by surprise. A particularly lovely pastry cries out to me. A gorgeous bouquet just needs to be on my entry table. I stumble to my car with my heavy load, vowing to do better next week. But I know. I know.
Once home, I assess my purchases and dig in with purpose. I bake, I cook, I eat, I gift. But there’s always more; maybe extra, maybe leftovers, maybe just something bought on a whim with good intentions. So later in the week I have to face the music. Another market day is coming up afterall and the cycle will continue. For a while, I was on a serious jam bender. I made big batches, small batches and everything in between. Pickling followed. Both were great and wonderful but then I found myself with a stockpile of another, more shelf stable, kind. I had simply transitioned my overstock from the refrigerator to the pantry. You can only give away so much jam before your friends start avoiding eye contact.
So I turned to agua frescas, that fabulous Mexican beverage of fresh, flavorful juices. Made from ripe seasonal fruit, agua frescas should be available on every street corner as far as I’m concerned. Not quite juice and definitely not venturing into smoothie territory, they’re just what they sound like: fresh water. Cold, flavorful and incredibly refreshing I buy one, maybe two, every single time I see them for sale. Which is not often enough for my tastes.
Opening my fridge recently, I was a little dismayed at everything I had crammed in there. Again. I had half of a watermelon that was taking up far too much room so I decided to make one of my favorite agua fresca combinations: Watermelon Lime. It couldn’t be simpler really: fruit juice of choice, a bit of sugar (or honey), some lime juice is usually good and water to thin out a little. These are not fruit juices, rather a refreshing fruit water. Over a tall glass of ice, they’re incredibly delicious on a hot summer day.
STRESS THERAPY BAKING FACTOR: MUY BUENO! Cool, refreshing, delicious. One thing to remember – the fruit has to be incredibly ripe. Tasteless fruit = tasteless agua fresca. And do I need to mention the obvious? Agua frescas are especially delicious spiked with oh, say some vodka. Or gin. Or tequila. It’s the perfect summer drink, I’m telling you. Ditch the kool-aid and diet soda this summer – this is way better.
On this blog four years ago: Strawberry Picking
On this blog three years ago: Sour Cherry Cobbler
On this blog two years ago: Life in Southwest France
On this blog one year ago: Spanish Sunday Lunch – Patatas Aioli
WATERMELON LIME AGUA FRESCA
4 cups diced, peeled ripe seedless watermelon
1 ½ cups water
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
- Blend together the diced watermelon, water, lime juice and the sugar in a blender until smooth.
- Strain through a medium strainer into a large pitcher or bowl.
- Taste and add more sugar and lime juice if needed.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
- Fill a glass with ice, pour in the agua fresca, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve. Booze is optional but recommended.