The Spanish term aguas frescas translates to “cool waters” or “fresh waters.” No, it is not the cool waters of the beach or a swimming pool; rather, this refers to drinks sold in the streets of Mexico, Central America, and in some parts of the US to help someone feel refreshed especially during the hot days of summer.
Aguas frescas is a non-alcoholic beverage that comes in different flavors, depending on what ingredients were used to make the drink, and the choices are many! They use fruits, flowers, seeds, even cereals. It has sugar so you know it is a sweet drink. It is part of the street food landscape so you know it is easy to find a seller, and a glass of aguas frescas is affordable.
You’ll most likely find a serving jar with horchata, or tamarind-flavored drink. Hibiscus-flavored aguas frescas are also common and popular.
Aguas Frescas Trivia
- Horchata, a popular plant milk beverage in Latin American countries and a common aguas frescas drink, is a great non-dairy alternative.
- Another way to call aguas frescas is “fruit coolers.”
Aguas Frescas Buying Guide
Where can you find aguas frescas in the US? Unlike in Mexico and Central America where there are many vendors selling aguas frescas, here in the US, your best bet is restaurants and food trucks that sell Mexican food.
Aguas Frescas Production & Farming in Texas
You can find restaurants selling aguas frescas all around Texas – there are stores selling this in Dallas, Brownsville, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Edinburg, Sugar Land, Grapevine, El Paso, and Arlington, among others.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Homemade aguas frescas usually do not contain additives, but the aguas frescas powdered drink mix sold in stores contains several artificial ingredients and additives.
- Artificial Colors (FD&C 5 Red 40 and FD&C Yellow 5)
- Artificial Flavors
- Fumaric Acid
- Guar Gum
- Silicon Dioxide
- Sodium Citrate
- Titanium Dioxide
This drink is sold in Mexico, Central America, and some parts of the United States.
The powdered aguas frescas commercial product is sold in aluminum foil packs. There are also ready-to-drink aguas frescas sold in plastic bottles.
Enjoying Aguas Frescas
The main appeal of aguas frescas is that it is a refreshing cold drink. It also offers variety since there are different aguas frescas flavors to choose from. You can drink aguas frescas if you are thirsty, or you can drink it alongside the food you are eating, that is why it is common to find this beverage sold in food trucks especially those making and selling Mexican food.
Fresh agua fresca can be stored in the refrigerator but it should be consumed in 2 to 3 days, regardless if it is made from fruits or horchata. Aguas frescas powdered mix can be kept in the pantry. Make sure to transfer the contents of the pack in a container with a lid and always keep the container closed. Store-bought aguas frescas should be stored in the refrigerator and should be consumed as indicated on the bottle’s label.
Make watermelon agua fresca at home
Try something new and turn your watermelon into a refreshing cold drink. The watermelon agua fresca is easy to make. This is the perfect refreshment if you have friends or family visiting and it is hot outside.
Yield: This recipe makes 8 servings
- 2 cups of seedless watermelon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Ice cubes
Step 1. Mix 1/2 cup water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.
Step 2. Pour this into a blender. Add watermelon and blend until smooth.
Step 3. Prepare 8 glasses. Put ice and add the watermelon agua fresca.