Watermelon Agua Frescas

Watermelon Agua Frescas

I’m putting together a Spanish summer supper and would like an appropriately festive (non-alcoholic) beverage to serve with the meal. Agua frescas are delicious with Latin-inspired dinners – a refreshing way to mitigate the heat of any spicy dish, in general.

Strain pulp from juice before serving.

Traditionally, agua frescas are made by mashing the fruit with a fork then adding the sweetened water; these days they are often made with blenders or food processors. I’ve made this recipe in the past, substituting cantaloupe and honeydew for the watermelon, and they were both delicious.

The most important piece of the recipe’s success is ensuring your fruit is ripe, at the peak of its natural flavor. I purchased an extraordinarily sweet watermelon at the farmers market last week and intensified the flavor a bit more with a simple syrup. You may omit this step, if sugar is a concern. The chopped mint and mineral water were a pleasant contrast to the sweet fruit syrup. If the fruit you use is pulpy, make sure to strain the excess pulp from the juice with a strainer.

Agua frescas can be made up to 48 hours in advance. All the beverage will need is to be re-stirred, poured into glasses, then garnished with an orange wedge and mint sprig before serving.



Recipe: Watermelon Agua Frescas


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 cups seedless watermelon chunks (1 medium-sized melon)
  • Zest and juice of 3-4 limes (1/2 cup lime juice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint, plus extra leaves for garnish if using
  • 2-4 cups mineral water
  • 1 orange, cut into slices for garnish (optional)


  1. Make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar in 2 1/2 cups hot water. Stir until the sugar has completely incorporated into hot water. Refrigerate until cold.
  2. Cut watermelon into 1-inch cubes.
  3. In a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary, combine 1 cup simple syrup with watermelon, 6 tablespoons lime juice and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture through a strainer into a container or pitcher, pressing on the pulp with a spatula to extract all juice. Discard pulp and add 2 cups mineral water to remaining juice. Taste and add additional simple syrup, lime juice and mineral water to taste. Refrigerate until chilled. (At this point, recipe may be made up to 48 hours in advance.)
  5. Prior to serving, stir in chopped mint. Serve with crushed ice or ice cubes, if desired. Garnish glasses with orange wedges and mint sprigs, if using.

Number of servings (yield): 10 cups

Time: 20 minutes (plus additional time to chill simple syrup and agua fresca)

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.



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