There's nothing like a cold glass of agua fresca to bring you back to life on a hot summer day. Made with just fruit and water, agua frescas quench your thirst like no other drink can and are a great way to use up that abundance of summer fruit. Although there are many different combinations of flavors to choose from when it comes to making this drink, one of my favorites is this Cucumber Melon Agua Fresca that I'm sharing with you this week. It's hydrating, super refreshing and the perfect non-alcoholic drink to enjoy poolside or at the beach.
What is Agua Fresca?
Agua fresca is a popular drink in Mexico, Central America and in the southwest United States. From a nutritional standpoint, these types of drinks are a bit better than fruit juice because the juice remains somewhat unfiltered (I'll explain more about that in a bit) and therefore retains fiber from the fruit itself. They're also much less sweet, since the fruit is blended with water. Agua fresca is best served very cold and with plenty of ice.
To make a delicious agua fresca, essentially all you need is fruit and water. It's so simple, you'll wonder why you've never done it before. Some recipes will call for a bit of sugar. But in summer, when fruit is so sweet and ripe, I find it's not necessary to add any.
For this recipe I use cucumber and cantaloupe. I love to add fresh lime juice to this drink because the acid balances out the sweetness of the fruit and makes it so refreshing.
Of course, no summer drink is complete without adding a fresh sprig of mint. This is optional, but highly recommended.
How To Make Cucumber Melon Agua Fresca
You'll need a blender to make this recipe. A high powered blender is recommended, but you could probably get away with using a regular blender since the ingredients we are using are soft.
I use 2 cups of melon (half of a small cantaloupe), ½ cup peeled and sliced cucumber, and 1 cup of water (plus a generous amount of ice to get the desired level of sweetness in my drink). You can play around with these ratios depending on how sweet (or not) you'd prefer your drink. I prefer my agua frescas perfectly balanced. Not too sweet and not too watered down.
After blending you'll notice that there is a lot of foam/froth at the top. I will simply run the juice through a fine mesh sieve/strainer to remove some of it. This will inevitably remove some of the pulp. If you prefer to keep the fiber for health purposes, you can skip this step altogether. You can also scoop some of the foam off the top if you like.
How To Serve + Substitutions
Agua frescos are meant to be served cold. Chilling the drink in the refrigerator or adding plenty of ice before serving is the best way to enjoy this beverage.
You can substitute any type of melon for this drink. There are so many delicious varieties of melon this time of year so it can be fun to experiment a little.
Other great combinations are:
watermelon + cucumber
strawberry + kiwi
peach + ginger
pineapple + coconut
Cucumber Melon Agua Fresca
- Blender, High Powered Blender
- 2 cups cantaloupe seeds and skin removed then fruit chopped or scooped with melon baller
- ½ cup cucumber peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoon lime juice from about 1 fresh lime + more if desired
- 1 cup water or more depending on desired amount of sweetness
- generous serving of ice
- mint leaves (optional)
- Add the water, cantaloupe and lime juice to a blender.
- Pulse until fully blended about 1 minute.
- Pour liquid through a fine mesh sieve or strainer to remove unwanted froth/foam or scoop off with a spoon.
- Pour over a generous amount of ice or allow to chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.
- Add mint leaves and additional slices of melon or cucumber for garnish (optional).