This week: Aguas Frescas.
¿Como se dice?: Aguas frescas literally translate to "fresh waters" in English, and are mucho refreshing. Since ice can sometimes be a hot commodity south of the border, a tall glass of something cold and fruity (with maybe a hit of cream) can be instant relief from a blazing summer day. It's just as efficient when the mercury starts to rise here in the Valley, and any Mexican place worth its salt (sal) will have a variety of aguas on the menu.
(check out our favorite aguas after the jump)
La Comida: Aguas frescas generally shake out into three categories: fresh and fruity or smooth and creamy.
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Fruity aguas that have evaporated milk added to them for a richer, smoother finish are aguas de leche, and can sometimes be called cremosas if they're a bit thicker in texture. These aguas often include strawberry (fresa), mango, or guava (guayaba) flavors. Check out any of the La Salsita locations around the valley for a glass of fresas con leche, or swing back by Los Reyes de la Torta where there are a ton of cremosas on the menu.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: The variety of aguas are limited only by what's in your pantry, although most traditional flavors trend toward the tropical: mango, guava, tamarind, pineapple, and watermelon are all easy ways to replicate the flavors of a much needed vacay. Aguas are fairly easy to make, with most flavors following a similar method of preparation: Blend, strain, and serve over ice. Recipes for sandia, tamarindo, pina, y fresa can all be easily found online, but we would suggest trying something outside the box, or jug if you will. As the Fahrenheit slowly starts creeping upward, give refreshing cucumber (pepino), prickly pear (atun), or hibiscus flower (jamaica) aguas frescas a whirl.
Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your secrets in the comment section.