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Strawberry Agua Fresca

Refreshing fruit waters, or agua frescas, such as this one add a colorful accent to any meal and are appreciated as thirst quenchers on a warm day. Other popular flavors include mango, melon, tamarind and watermelon. To make watermelon agua fresca, replace the strawberries with 1 small watermelon, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups hulled strawberries, plus strawberry slices for garnish
  • 3 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • Ice cubes as needed
  • Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a blender, combine 2 1/2 cups of the strawberries and 1 1/2 cups of the water and puree until smooth. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour the puree into the sieve, using a silicone spatula to press the mixture through the sieve. Discard the strawberry seeds left in the sieve. Repeat with the remaining 2 1/2 cups strawberries and 1 1/2 cups water.

Transfer the strawberry puree to a pitcher. Add the sugar, lime juice and salt and stir to combine. Add an additional 1 to 2 cups of water to reach the desired consistency.

Fill 4 glasses with ice cubes. Pour the agua fresca into the glasses. Garnish each with strawberry slices and a mint sprig. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Latin Cooking, by Patricia McCausland-Gallo, Deborah Schneider & Beverly Cox (Oxmoor House, 2010).