We talked about using the leftover strawberry tips to make strawberry water yesterday. It is a refreshing drink in a super-chilled glass on a hot day.
The idea is to infuse the water with the gentle strawberry flavor much like the cucumber water that is served in restaurants or at the spa.
The strawberry slices should steep in the water for at least six hours but an overnight chill in the refrigerator is ideal.
Take the strawberry infused water a step further by making agua fresca, a chilled fruity water drink that is popular in Mexico.
Translated to mean “fresh water” they are made with fruit, water, sugar and sold by street vendors. The drink is also available in restaurants where servers ladle it into drinking glasses from jars.
The trick to making agua frescas is that you want to use fruit that has been pureed but you don’t want to have the consistency of a fruit smoothie.
The pureed fruit is in the recipe to infuse the water with the sugar but it needs to be strained through a mesh to pull the fruit solids out of the finished drink.
In order to incorporate the sugar crystals you need to make a simple syrup. Melt some sugar in a bit of water until it is blended into the water. Allow the syrup to cool and come to room temperature.
Puree some strawberries in a blender and add to the strawberry water. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Add your simple syrup.
The basic recipe for agua fresca calls for the fruit, sugar, and water to be mixed together. Play with the ingredients like swapping out watermelon for the strawberries. Add lemon or lime juice.
Add some mint leaves as a garnish or muddle them in a glass before you pour. Simply crush the mint leaves to release the essential oils. This will give your drink a stronger mint flavor.
The agua frescas can be served to kids in paper cups at a pool party and go in the opposite direction and be part of a cocktail when the sun starts to set.
Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass for moisture and press the rim into a bit of granulated sugar on a plate. Add some vodka to the agua fresca and toast summer!
See you tomorrow!