Guilty Pleasure: Agua Vita Where to Get It: Paletas Betty, Tempe(and soon in Chandler) Price: $3 or $4 depending on size What it Really Costs: [reads the ingredients] Wait... this is good for you?!
Not long ago, I found myself at the Chow Bella HQ underground lair, discussing recent food finds. Someone mentioned that Paletas Betty (one of my favorite sweets purveyors) recently introduced Agua Vita, a line of aguas frescas, those delightfully refreshing Mexican fruit drinks.
Since my sweet tooth in the group is the biggest, I couldn't help making a beeline for Betty. I was greeted with four choices: pineapple and orange, watermelon and mint, lemon and strawberry, and raspberry-lime spritzer.
Once I selected a couple to sample, the friendly girl behind the counter got to work. The secondary ingredient gets muddled in a mason jar. Then, fresh juice is added. The usual base of an agua fresca is water; Paletas Betty uses white tea for a subtle flavor boost and a bonus of lots of antioxidants.
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How are they? They're pretty darn good as far as aguas frescas go. They're pleasantly sweet, but not overly so like a good number of aguas frescas I've had. I already have a hard time saying no to a fresh fruit agua fresca, but the simple addition of a complementary flavor makes it that much better.
Part of me wants to see the line expanded. When I look at the juices (pineapple, watermelon, lemon, and raspberry), the additions (orange, mint, strawberry, and lime), and the base liquids (white tea or sparkling water), I can't help thinking that they all look delightfully interchangeable. Pineapple-mint sounds especially delicious to me. Maybe I could sweet-talk the person behind the counter into a special order.
There's one thing for sure: The next time I stop around Mill for a quick bite, I'll be strongly tempted to take it to go and enjoy it with an Agua Vita on Betty's patio.