Hibiscus, Orange, and Vanilla Agua Fresca
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True, this concoction is slightly more complex than lemonade. But so are most relationships.
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 1 Thai chile, split in half lengthwise
- 4 3-inch strips orange zest
- ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers or 24 hibiscus tea bags
- Thin lime wheels (for serving)
Scrape vanilla seeds into a medium saucepan; add pod, chile, orange zest, hibiscus, sugar, and 2 cups boiling water. Let steep until infusion cools to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids. Stir in lime juice and 2 cups cold water; chill agua fresca 1 hour.
Divide agua fresca among ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lime wheels.
Do Ahead: Agua fresca can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca
Hey friends! It’s that time of year again! #drinkthesummer 2016 is happening! You know, it’s that awesome internet party where this year 50(. ) bloggers are sharing their delicious liquid concoctions! A big thanks goes to Sherrie for hosting this helluva get-together! My sister was telling me about a special little watermelon/hibiscus/tequila drink she had at this place in Charleston. I think the words she used were: fruity, fresh, effervescent, amazing. Yes! Yes! Yes! I set out to make my own version, without tequila because, yeah… I’m pregnant! I’ve been meaning to tell you guys for a while but honestly the whole thing still feels like a dream, I can’t believe there’s actually something alive in me. Mark and I had been trying for about two years, it was pretty emotional at times. I wanted to share that all with you here too but I guess I felt too scared or vulnerable. I went on for years believing what my mom told me – that if just one little drop of semen got near my lady parts I’d likely get pregnant. That obviously wasn’t the case in this situation. I know it may sound cheesy or unambitious but I knew I wanted to be a mom since as long as I can remember. Our big anatomy ultrasound is on Monday, we’ll be able to see every little detail with the baby! I’m super excited/nervous. The first three months of this crazy adventure were kinda tough. I pretty much lived off mashed potatoes, cereal, pretzels and watermelon. Cooking food or even looking at pictures of it made me super nauseous. So I apologize if I’ve been a little MIA on social media, blog commenting, etc. I’ll get back into the swing of things soon, I promise. But for now I’ll share this super simple and refreshing drink with you guys! It’s so easy to make: blend up some watermelon, brew a little hibiscus tea, chill and top with bubbly water. Cheers friends! And make sure to check out all the #drinkthesummer drinks below!
Ingredients for the Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca
1 tablespoon hibiscus tea
2 tablespoons agave (optional for sweetness)
bubbly water to top it off
Boil the water and pour it over the hibiscus tea leaves. Let steep for 11 minutes or so, then chill. Blend the watermelon in your blender until smooth. Pour it through a strainer, you should have about 2 cups of watermelon juice. Combine the chilled tea with the watermelon into a pitcher. Taste for sweetness, stirring in a tablespoon or two of agave nectar if you wish. Pour into glasses and top with bubble water. A shot of tequila is optional.
6 Kinds of Agua Fresca and How to Make Them
The Mexican drink agua fresca (“fresh water” or “cool water”) is made with water and fruit, but it is much more than just water and much different from the juice. Fruit juice is typically made by squeezing the liquid from the fruit it may be somewhat diluted, but it is much more juice than water. Agua fresca starts with fresh drinking water, and the fruit is blended or squeezed into it, resulting in a much lighter and more refreshing drink that is composed mostly of water.
One could say that agua fresca is a versatile drink somewhere between the extremes of straight juice and flavored water. It is tasty enough to be enjoyed on its own (and is typically very thirst-quenching), but it's also is a great option for sipping with a meal.
Agua fresca can be made from any one (or more) of your favorite fruits, as well as from chia seeds, dried hibiscus flowers, rice, or tamarind—or even from vegetables such as cucumbers, celery, or cooked beets. Homemade agua fresca is made with natural ingredients, which makes it much more healthful than most store-bought drinks. You can also use your preferred sweetener, whether that's sugar, piloncillo, stevia, or artificial sweetener, so it's easy to adjust for your own dietary needs.
If you use a granulated sweetener (such as white or brown sugar or piloncillo), keep in mind that these crystallized ingredients take a lot of time and stirring to dissolve into cold water—and even more so when other sweet elements such as pureed fruit are already present. You might want to make a simple syrup (sugar syrup) first or dissolve the sugar in slightly warm water before adding other ingredients.
Agua Fresca for Cinco de Mayo
This is not a sugary, too-sweet, thick smoothie. No. It’s a thirst-quenching “ade” that highlights the natural flavors of the fruit, grains, seeds, or flowers used. This can be made with any fruit you like. Typically you’ll find recipes for melon and tropical fruit flavors. Interesting flavors to try are Agua de Jamaica, made with hibiscus flavors and is sometimes spiced with a lot of ginger. Chia seed agua fresca is popular in Mexico, as is Horchata, made from rice.
Our family likes to make these throughout the year, but particularly during the Spring and Summer months when the fruit stands are brimming with fresh seasonal fruit.
Our kids really like orange, mango, strawberry and pineapple. When my garden is in full bloom, I will add fresh herbs. Mint or basil go really well with most fruit flavors. Thyme is marvelous with strawberry. Lavender goes well with blueberry. For peach drinks, I sometimes add a little vanilla
Sometimes to give ours a little kick, we add freshly grated ginger instead of herbs.
My friend, Natalie, gave me the idea to transfer homemade juices to reused French lemonade bottles. It’s an easy way to transport them to picnics or give them away as gifts. Plus it looks super chic and great for parties.
Picture above–apricot and pineapple agua fresca. Aren’t they gorgeous?
There isn’t a set recipe I use. I just fill my blender with cut fruit, add water and ice, a little lime or lemon juice, and agave nectar to add some sweetness if it’s needed. A quick puree in the blender and it’s ready to be served. It’s as simple as that. And SO delicious.
Here are some other ideas and recipes:
Happy blending and happy Cinco de Mayo!
Lindsey Johnson is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys cooking, baking, photography, gardening, and writing. You can find more recipes at her blog, Cafe Johnsonia.
Perhaps the ultimate iced tea, this dessert combines sweetened black tea with a hint of rose water and then freezes the mixture until it's icy and completely refreshing.
Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.
Agua de Jamaica
Agua de Jamaica is a refreshing drink made from dried hibiscus flowers, water, and sugar. I like to add orange zest and spices to change it up a bit.
Before moving to Los Angeles I was a total Mexican food amateur. Sure I grew up in a Latin household, but the cuisines of Peru and Colombia couldn’t be more different than what one would eat in Mexico.
My idea of Mexican food was limited to “authentic” burritos and tacos. I assumed it was all the same because for the most part Peruvian food isn’t that varied throughout the country. Same goes for Colombian food. Those two countries, for the most part, eat mainly the same foods in all regions. When I moved to LA, I realized how varied Mexican food actually is.
I finally understood the differences between Oaxacan moles, the fish tacos from Baja and the cemitas from Puebla. But one item I see in all Mexican restaurants regardless of region or specialty is agua de jamaica (pronounced: xa’majka – the “j” is silent).
It’s usually chilling in one of those great big tubs next to the other agua frescos like canteloupe, watermelon and horchata. I always choose the jamaica. Always.
Fresh Fruit Juices and Coolers
During the summer you can find fresh fruit in abundance! It’s the best time to make all of these yummy fruit juices and coolers.
Watermelon Vanilla Mint Cooler | Some the Wiser
This simple summer cooler goes a long way towards making a hot summer’s day bearable.
Watermelon Coconut Aloe Juice | Will Frolic for Food
This healthy summer drink couldn’t be more refreshing. Whole watermelon meets coconut water and aloe juice – yum!
Strawberry Agua Fresca with Blackberries | Foodness Gracious
A berry agua fresca makes an absolutely perfect summer juice. Try this one for sure!
Ruby Red Grape Fruit Juice | The Little Red House
A simple grape fruit juice made even tastier and healthier with carrots and fresh ginger.
Kiwi Agua Fresca | Averie Cooks
This refreshing kiwi drink is as pretty as it is tasty – perfect for entertaining.
The Artisan Soda Workshop : 75 Homemade Recipes from Fountain Classics to Rhubarb Basil, Sea Salt Lime, Cold-Brew Coffee and Muc
FLAVORFUL FIZZY SENSATIONS
Craft amazingly delicious and stunningly creative sodas using natural, gourmet syrups you make at home. Nothing is more refreshing than soda. But why settle for canned carbonation when you can make your own delectable sodas at home? Artisan Soda Workshop shows you how to take soda to the next level by making flavors like:
• Riesling and Raspberry
• Mango Chile
• Prickly Pear
• Fizzy Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
• Lemon -Thyme
• Plum Vanilla
• Cranberry, Orange and Ginger
With step-by-step instructions and colorful photos, this book’s palate-pleasing recipes make it easy to create your own bubbly concoctions from exotic combinations of fruits, herbs and spices. These thirst-quenching drinks serve up parties bubblier, fill hot days with fizzy fun, and impress even the most discriminating of tastes.
50 Homemade Summer Drinks To Refresh The Season
What does it come to your mind when I say &ldquohomemade summer drinks&ldquo?
Let me answer that one instead of you.
Homemade summer drinks mean colorful freshness in a glass. It inspires you to open your chick-lit book, arrange the sunglasses, put on the hat, and enjoy life under the sun while sipping some heavenly-good cold drink.
Yes, it&rsquos all about being cool, fresh, sweet, inspiring, flavored, delicious, cheeky, looking naughty, yet completely innocent drink that you just can&rsquot get enough of.
And today I will give 50 of them!
Yep, 50 homemade summer drinks to keep you busy enjoying the season.
I already shared with you some awesome coffee recipes , now it&rsquos time for juicy summer drinks.
They are perfect for the days when you want to treat yourself, for the home-parties you organize, for any barbeque that you&rsquod like to tweak, and for every time you&rsquore thirsty for the taste of the summer.
Enjoy the best non-alcoholic Mexican drinks at Isla Mujeres!
Tasting new flavors is such an amazing part of traveling to other countries! As you can see, if you are sober curious, don’t drink alcohol, or you are driving, there are many non-alcoholic Mexican drinks to enjoy. Whether you drink alcohol or not, don’t you agree you deserve to relax on a white-sand beach sipping on a mind-blowingly good drink you’ve just discovered?
With Aquaworld’s Day Trip to Isla Mujeres, you can enjoy an open bar of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks AND a buffet lunch, during a fun-filled day that includes a ferry ride to a tropical island, snorkeling, and free time to spend at the beach or exploring the island, Isla Mujeres. That’s what dreams are made of!