You didn’t think I would skip out on sharing a recipe for Cinco de Mayo, did you? I know when most of you think of Cinco de Mayo and Mexican food, you think of margaritas – I know I do. How could you not? But, today I am sharing the recipe for another traditional Mexican drink (also popular in Central America), this one non-alcoholic. Agua Frescas are traditional drinks, a blend of fruits, botanicals, seeds, etc., sweetener and water is added. It’s refreshing and a great way to celebrate what is in season. Of course, we already know how I feel about fruit infused water concoctions.
I find most traditional Agua Frescas to be a bit too sweet for my taste, many times they are loaded with powdered or white sugar and it’s like sipping on a liquid candy bar for my taste buds. I think it takes away from the beautiful, naturally sweet flavor of the fruits being highlighted. Using raw honey as the sweetener makes it a bit better for you than white sugars and I find only a few tablespoons are necessary.
I have made varying versions of the agua fresca, but this is by far one of my favorite blends. Traditionally the fruit is strained after it is blended, but depending on the fruit I am using, I will leave it in. I like the texture of blended berries, but you can certainly strain it, if you prefer. (If you plan to strain it, you may want to add a bit more water when blending to make it thin enough to strain). I use a bit less water when blending the fruit, to create a thicker blend and finally I top with sparkling water when serving, I just love bubbles!
Here are some tasty Gluten-free Mexican-inspired dishes from the archives that would make Cinco de Mayo even yummier:
Slow-Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Tacos with Mango Black Bean Salsa
Sprouted Lentil Tacos with Arugula and Feta
Slow Cooker Spicy Portobello Tacos with Spicy Sriracha Slaw
Swiss Chard Wraps with Raw Walnut “Taco” Meat
Creamy Avocado Dressing
Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce
Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
Restaurant Style Salsa
Strawberry Avocado Jalapeño Salsa
Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake
Mexican Mocha No-Bake Cookie Balls
Chilled Avocado & Corn Soup with Cilantro Oil
Mixed Berry Basil Sparkling Agua Fresca
serves approximately 6
- 16oz mixed fresh or frozen and thawed berries (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons raw honey, or other sweetener (more or less to your taste)
- 2 cups filtered water
- sparkling mineral water or soda water
- To Garnish: additional berries and fresh basil
Blend the berries, lime juice, basil water and raw honey until very smooth and well blended (30 seconds to a minute). At this point, you can add a bit more water, blend again and strain the mixture* OR keep it as is, without straining (which is what I do). Taste and adjust your sweetener, as necessary. Add the mixture to a large pitcher.
Pour approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the berry blend to your serving glasses (amount depends on the size of the glass) and top with sparkling mineral water and ice. Garnish with fresh berries and a basil leaf. Enjoy.
*If straining: Simply press mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard pulp and seeds.[/print_this]