Agua fresca (Spanish for fresh water) is a light, non-alcoholic drink served by street vendors, in bodegas, and at eateries throughout Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, as well as Mexican cafés and taquerias around the U.S. They are made by combining fresh fruits, grains, seeds, and even flowers, with sugar and water.
Thanks to modern-day globalization, you can find ready-made agua fresca options anytime at Latin import stores, both in bottled varieties and instant mixes. But during the warmer spring and summer months, whipping up a few batches for your home barbecue is simple, and a great way to take advantage of the bounty of budget-friendly fresh ingredients from your local farmer’s market. Your creativity’s the limit when it comes to presenting your potion to party guests. Here, a collection of some of our favorite recipes to help you get started.