Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: Aqua Fresca Veraniega

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Aqua Fresca Veraniega

I recently attended a Rick Bayless cooking demo, and enjoyed some delicious new treats from his latest cookbook. One of the first dishes that we enjoyed was Rick's favorite summer soft drink: Aqua Fresca Veraniega. Aqua Fresca Veraniega is Spanish for "fresh (cold) summer water," and is a mixure of cucumbers and pineapples. Most aqua frescas are usually a combination of blended fruits, seeds or cereal with an mixture of water and sugar. The most popular commonly known aqua frescas are tamarindo (made with tamarind), jamaica (made with hibiscus), and horchata (made with rice and cinnamon).

The key to making a wonderful aqua fresca is to infuse the water with the simple fruits. It's quite simple, and do not go overboard by making it like a fancy fruit smoothie. This is a great summer drink to cool down with and it is versatile enough to be used with an assortment of fruits. Watermelon, strawberries, papaya, mango, and oranges would be an tasty mixture to sample out. It's easy to prepare and quite refreshing, and if you're feeling a little indulgent. You can add a shot of tequila to perk it up for those hot summer days. Enjoy!!

Don't forget to enter my Rick Bayless cookbook giveaway, it's an autographed copy. Be sure to enter here!

Aqua Fresca Veraniega
Adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
4 cucumbers, peeled, and roughly chopped - about 4 cups
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed - about 4 cups
½ cup, flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup, fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed
Ice cubes


In a blender, combine all the ingredients with 1 ½ cups water. If it does not all fit, blend in batches. Blend until completely smooth.

Pour into a large 64 ounce pitcher, and stir in 6 additional cups of water. Taste and add more lime or sugar if needed. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

**Add 1 to 2 shots of tequila for the adult version.**

Review: A great summer soft drink without the fizz and bubbly. My girlfriend, Monica, and I really enjoyed the adult version because it wasn't too strong plus you could barely taste the tequila. You could probably add a rum or vodka if you're not a tequila fan. Most importantly, aqua fresca veraniega is quite refreshing by itself and the best way to quench your thirst!
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