I’m still battling it out.

Derby or Cinco de Mayo?

Bourbon or Tequila?

Mint or limes?

Okay let’s do both. The mint and the limes, I mean.

A common question I get asked is how one can make my margaritas and mojitos into versions that are nonalcoholic. I think most beverages can be handled with a glug of bubbly club soda in lieu of the booze, but agua fresca can also be a thing. It’s fruity water. Fruity, delicious water. That everyone can enjoy!

I find agua fresca to be insanely refreshing, which is probably it’s purpose or something. The mint and the limes add the perfect little kick and since it’s made with fruit, it’s healthy. You are drinking your nutrients, people. Get down with it.

Watermelon juice. !!!!

Also, pureeing the heck out of that watermelon brought me back to the summer that I made watermelon soda floats. I am devastatingly annoyed that I haven’t made those recently. Now THAT’s a thing.

Why am I not doing that right this instant?

Even though Cinco de Mayo is winning today, I’m desperate to have a very large combined Cinco/Derby party. But all of my invisible internet friends would have to come because um, I don’t have that many non-invisible friends.

I guess that’s what happens when you bake cookies for someone on another side of a screen.

And although I’m showing you two ways to make agua fresca, there really are a bunch of ways. I’m doing blueberry next. I think I’m even going to try raspberry, because getting rid of those dumb little seeds and keeping the flavor makes me jump for joy. Obviously strawberry. And maybe even pomegranate, though that would be a pain in the you know what.

Kiwi is getting a big dose of me later this week too. I’m coming for you, kiwi.

Anyhoo. Here are my important keys to enjoying this pretty liquid:

It’s gotta be COLD. It looks super cute in one of those tabletop drink dispenser like things. Do you know what I’m talking about? They have a little spout on them. You can find some for $25 or less and man… now that is an investment.

Perhaps I can give you some financial portfolio advice after this.

It’s gotta be fruity but not too sweet. And you know I have some darn sweet teeth. It’s not meant to be a juice though, so there is a fine line you gotta walk with the sugar. The annoying (or fun) part is that almost every batch you make will be different – all based on the sweetness of the fruit you chose that day. So… just taste a lot. You may not even need to add any sugar if it’s sweet enough to your liking. Crazy. I know.

Oh and I just have to say that I think this is the perfect summer drank. We already went over the refreshing part, but it’s less sugary than lemonade which means you can eat extra chips and salsa and cookies. Life laws!


Watermelon + Mango Agua Fresca

Yield: each flavor serves about 4

Total Time: 10 minutes


watermelon agua fresca
1/2 watermelon, seeded and cubed (about 2 cups)
1 cup water
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
fresh mint

mango agua fresca
2 ripe mangos, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
fresh mint


watermelon agua fresca
Add watermelon to a blender and blend until completely pureed. Using a fine mesh sieve, pour puree through into a large bowl or measuring cup, using a spoon to press the last of the liquid out when you get to the end. Combine watermelon juice, water, lime juice and sugar in a large pitcher. Taste and add more sugar if needed. You can also stir in some fresh mint leaves (or just garnish the drinks with them) for taste. Chill until cold.

mango agua fresca
Add mango cubes and 1 cup of water to the blender, pureeing until smooth. Pour the mixture through the fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to press the last of the liquid out at the end. Combine mango, remaining water, lime juice and sugar in a large pitcher. Taste and add more sugar if needed. You can also stir in some fresh mint leaves (or just garnish the drinks with them) for taste. Chill until cold.

[adapted from food network]

And finally. I think you can add some tequila here if you’d like. Or rum. Vodka even. Whatever kind of freaky stuff you’re into.

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78 Responses to “Agua Fresca, Two Ways.”

  1. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — April 24, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    I was actually looking for a nonalcoholic drink, these look sooo refreshing!!!


  2. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 24, 2013 @ 6:58 am

    This is gorgeous and I kind of want to have a drink…at 4:08am :) A great way to start the day, right! Believe it or not, I’m actually editing pics of a mango drink right now. It was fate that this popped up, too :)


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 24th, 2013 @ 6:59 am

      Oh and that’s me assuming that you are of course adding booze to these. :)


  3. #
    ashley - baker by nature — April 24, 2013 @ 6:58 am

    I’m tempted to go work up a sweat just so I can have an excuse to refresh myself via one of these lovely drinks.


  4. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 24, 2013 @ 6:59 am

    I’ve made quite a few pitchers of aqua fresca over the last few years and I can honestly say watermelon is my favorite.

    Love both of these!


  5. #
    Abby — April 24, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    I love your reasoning with the sugar/chips & salsa. I constantly have (and win) those battles in my head! This looks amazing, can’t wait to try it!


  6. #
    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — April 24, 2013 @ 7:20 am

    I love the idea of harnessing my inner Sandra Lee and throwing some tequila in the mango agua fresca! Perfect refreshing spring/summer drink. If only the weather would cooperate…


  7. #
    Tieghan — April 24, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Love, love love love!! Watermelon and mangos! YES! So pretty, so refreshing and perfect for me cause well I am only nineteen and technically should not be drinking booze! LOL


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 24, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    These drinks look so beautiful Jess!! I’m not much of a boozer so these recipes are mucho appreciated. Love the watermelon and lime combo, and as soon as watermelons here are cheaper than their current $9.99, I’ll be making this by the gallon!


  9. #
    Becky @ A Calculated Whisk — April 24, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    These look so pretty! I have half a papaya right now–might have to try it with that! Beautiful photos!


  10. #
    DessertForTwo — April 24, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    I want to co-host a derby and cinco de mayo party with you! I love aguas frescas! I live in Costa Rica for a while (fun fact!), and drank them every morning. Seriously, women would gather fruit in the forest for us and blend up aguas frescas each morning. Love.


  11. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — April 24, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    Mmm those look delicious and refreshing – like the perfect summer drinks! I love anything citrus these days (even made some key lime cheesecake a few weeks ago). I’ll admit, I’d never heard of Agua Fresca before this post so now I’m even more intrigued. Have to add to my summer beverage list!


  12. #
    Maureen — April 24, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    You must be living inside my mind – had the best mango agua fresca last week at Smoke in Homestead, and was searching for a recipe to recreate it at home. They grated a little lime zest over the top – LOVE! Can’t wait to try these!


  13. #
    Liz — April 24, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    This is pretty much my watermelon jargarita recipe, minus the booze. I need to make a batch to put in the freezer . . .


  14. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 24, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Yea, these are pretty much the most beautiful photos EVER. I’ll definitely be needing this recipe during our sticky hot Texas summers – it’s a keeper! Pinned!


  15. #
    Faith — April 24, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Yes! Finally a nonalcaholic drink for us underage food bloggers :)
    These remind me a little of those Starbucks refreshers, too!


  16. #
    Amanda @ The Anti Mom — April 24, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    these look absolutely refreshingly delicious! great alternatives to booze…although i’d prefer mine full of it! but since i’m pregnant, these are fantastic alternatives to my alcohol cravings :) thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try them out!


  17. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — April 24, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    So refreshing…and since I’m now able to drink I think I’ll take both, the tequila and the bourbon! No reason to leave anyone out :)


  18. #
    Ammie — April 24, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    Can I be your neighbor?!? I’ll be your taste testing, tequila loving, crazy neighbor with the meditation palace out back. :) Por favor?


  19. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — April 24, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    Mmm I love a good agua fresca. I could have used a glass or two this past weekend. It was so warm here in San Diego!


  20. #
    Holiday Baker Man — April 24, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    It’s 7:18 AM.. it is bad to one one of these now?


  21. #
    emily — April 24, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Oh yum! My near-constant diet coke consumption means I’m always a bit dehydrated but this post almost made me want to do something about it! :)


  22. #
    Rayna — April 24, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    Oh. My. God. I just bought a few gorgeous looking mangoes at the farmers market and this looks like a spectacular way for me to use them. Watermelon too? Summer please come faster…!


  23. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — April 24, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    How is agua fresca a thing I didn’t know about?! I’m totally not a juice person because of all the sugar but these look ah-maz-ing! In the summer months, I will never say no to a watermelon so I’m pretty much consume this constantly.


  24. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — April 24, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    these look so nice and refreshing! and of course adding a little booze doesn’t hurt either :)


  25. #
    Ashley — April 24, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    Obsessed with the colors in this post!!! This would be a great drink to serve at a baby shower, etc. Can’t wait to see what you do with kiwi!


  26. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — April 24, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    Just saw Bridget’s pin over at Pinterest and want to dive right in off a diving board! *splash* {That was my graceful swan dive.} Absolutely gorgeous photography here, Jessica. Love, love, love…with or without the alcohol. Cannot wait to make and pinning to our group board. xo P.S. Adore your blog name as well as James Taylor’s song. It can be a devil of an earworm though. ;)


  27. #
    Marjie Dickey — April 24, 2013 @ 11:36 am

    So, my first thought was adding alcohol… Have you tried adding alcohol to the watermelon fresca? I’m dying to try this for the weekend, but can’t decide which liquor would be best!


  28. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 24, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    For the past 3 years I’ve gone to a Derby de Mayo party… there is no need to choose!!!


  29. #
    Larry — April 24, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    There is a Mexican market in town called Mi Pueblo and it has THE BEST agua frescas ever! They always have at least 12 flavors there, including pineapple (my favorite) and a strawberry banana (SO GOOD kinda like a milky smoothie type thing). ugh.


  30. #
    Amanda — April 24, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    These are so refreshing looking. Makes me feel all summery :)


  31. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — April 24, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

    Is it bad that I’m fantasizing about putting gin into all of these? They do look very lovely and refreshing on their own though ;)


  32. #
    Casey — April 24, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    These look amazing! I love watermelon margaritas when I am out, I should try making them at home


  33. #
    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — April 24, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

    I love aguas. And I love the idea of a combination Cinco/Derby fiesta. We can wear big hats (natch), drink aguas (of course), and eat bourbon-spiked salsa. Bang. I’m all in.


  34. #
    Samantha — April 24, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    So I’m originally from Louisville (although now living in Georgia), and my birthday is Cinco de Mayo. Imagine my internal conflict.

    I’m actually going back to Louisville for Derby weekend this year so I guess bourbon wins 2013!


  35. #
    honeywhatscooking — April 24, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Gorgeous photos.. i’m all about the alcohol.


  36. #
    tanya smithhh — April 24, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    just as Edith said I can’t believe that anybody able to make $6400 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this website Snap11comCHECK IT OUT!!


  37. #
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — April 24, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    I love watermelon! This sounds like a fantastic and refreshing drink!


  38. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — April 24, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    I feel like I should be making that 90’s era soda commercial Pop/Smack and Ahhhh sound. These look fab!


  39. #
    Sarah — April 24, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    Do both – we’re celebrating Cinco de Derby! This looks yummy – we’ll by trying it!


  40. #
    Liz — April 24, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    These look amazingly refreshing. Thanks for posting a booze-free drink recipe – I’m pregnant and all the summer drinks look amazing but are on my ‘make after baby arrives’ list – so this will be great to have in the meantime :-)


  41. #
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green — April 24, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

    Love these drink recipes! I am adding them to my must make list for the cottage this summer!


  42. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — April 24, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

    “But all of my invisible internet friends would have to come because um, I don’t have that many non-invisible friends.” –> LOL –in a non-offensive way, of course, b/c I’m sure you have a million visible friends.

    These look so refreshing! I somehow missed your watermelon float and I NEED to make that, it looks incredible.


  43. #
    Abbe@This is How I Cook — April 25, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    You are making me sooo thirsty.


  44. #
    Lexie — April 25, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    so excited to see this post!!!

    just got back from Sayulita Mexico, where I drank many, many glasses of basil pineapple aguas frescas, which was so amazing… seriously can’t remember drinking anything so good in my life. they also had strawberry hibiscus, also delish! can’t wait to follow your lead and re-create!!


  45. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — April 25, 2013 @ 6:09 am

    These drinks are beautiful. The perfect accessory to every meal. Cinco de Mayo is my winner.


  46. #
    Kim of Mo'Betta — April 25, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    People actually want a drink without alcohol?! :-)


  47. #
    cindy — April 25, 2013 @ 11:14 am

    I LOVE agua fresca…it’s just so dang fresh (duh)…and pretty!


  48. #
    Michelle @Amourbeurre — April 25, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

    So refreshing for the start of summer!


  49. #
    Kristi @ Cherry Jasmine — April 26, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Love, love, love the colors of this drink – so festive! I’ll bet it tastes great too!


  50. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 26, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    These drinks are beautiful :) looks incredibly fresh!



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