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Old 06-20-2007, 01:47 PM   #1
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Refreshing summer beverages

I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about the wonderful fruit drinks that Mexicans drink in abundance - really all year round, but more in the warm summers, of course. "Agua fresca" is any drink made with fruit and water, with ice. You start with puree of mango, pineapple, guava, strawberry - any fruit you like. Use about a cup of fruit pulp per liter of water, add sugar to taste and serve iced. Here, I can buy fruit pulp in a bottle to make my own, or you can put the fruit in a blender or food processor. We also drink alot of "Jamaica", which is a tea brewed form hibiscus flowers. I don 't know if you can buy it in the states, maybe at a Hispanic grocery if you have one in your town. It is dark red and tastes a bit like cranberry juice. We also drink alot of "limonada", which is made like lemondae, but with limes. About a half cup to a liter of water, lots of sugar. Very refreshing!

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Old 06-21-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren
I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about the wonderful fruit drinks that Mexicans drink in abundance - really all year round, but more in the warm summers, of course. "Agua fresca" is any drink made with fruit and water, with ice. You start with puree of mango, pineapple, guava, strawberry - any fruit you like. Use about a cup of fruit pulp per liter of water, add sugar to taste and serve iced. Here, I can buy fruit pulp in a bottle to make my own, or you can put the fruit in a blender or food processor. We also drink alot of "Jamaica", which is a tea brewed form hibiscus flowers. I don 't know if you can buy it in the states, maybe at a Hispanic grocery if you have one in your town. It is dark red and tastes a bit like cranberry juice. We also drink alot of "limonada", which is made like lemondae, but with limes. About a half cup to a liter of water, lots of sugar. Very refreshing!
Sounds very interesting, but my all-time favorite drink is seltzer water, which is unbelievably refreshing. It's simply carbonated water. Lemonade is very refreshing as well. And I believe we Americans call your third drink "limeade". I'll have to try some good lemonade and limeade sometime.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Seltzer water is good with a wedge of lime!
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:06 PM   #4
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lol
i'll take a cosmopolitan please
or margaritas la roca
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Oh yes, but you can't drink them all day (well, maybe you can, but then who would fix dinner?)
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:36 PM   #6
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Dinner?! We don't need no stinkin dinner!...



except much later, when the buzz is wearing off, darn that part sucks...
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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Karen,
Agua fesca is our favorite down here in south Texas. We drink the agua de horchata, agua de tamarindo and agua de jamaica. Passion-Guava became one of my favorite drinks this summer while visiting Hawai'i.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:08 PM   #8
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Oh, we love jamaica and horchata, but have not acquired a taste for tamarindo. We had some agua fresca last night at a little neighborhood restaurant we call "Tacos under the Trees" because it's just a few plastic tables in someone's backyard. The food is impeccably prepared, delicious and very cheap, but there are chickens and dogs underfoot, as well as numerous toddlers. They served us some agua fresca with little orange pulpy fruits (with pits) in it - not guava, not apricots, sort of a cross between the two. We never figured out what it was, but it was very very good. Our Spanish is pretty basic and we didn't understand the name when we asked what it was. I'll have to do a little research
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren
Seltzer water is good with a wedge of lime!
Selzer, carbonated water or sprudle is great with most any fruit or berry syrup that can be made from what's currently in season locally. If you make the syrup yourself you can better regulate the sugar content to your taste. Larousse Gastronomique has a fair number of syrup recipes.

Alternatively a Rumtopf can be made by adding the fruit of the season to alcohol (or an alcoholic beverage, like rum)and sugar. The downside is that after sitting for several weeks or more the fruit wil likely have imparted most of it's goodness to the liquid and therefor may not be too palatable.
To please MADD and other alcophobes, pure neutral grain spirits are generally unavailable to the average person in the US; for that reason home fruit infusions, in the US, achieved by the use of alcohol are usually not as good as they could be if it were not for the need to use some sort of state sanctioned booze. My favorite fruit juice is William’s Christ. It’s an unsweetened pear brandy that tastes just like a pear but it’s nigh onto impossible to buy it in the USA at an affordable price.
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:58 PM   #10
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Growing up in India where it's hot all year around and scorching in the summer we loved to cool down with a home made drink. The popular ones that I still go back to are as follows:

Rose Sherbet: Concentrated rose syrup that you add to a glass and then add lots of ice and some water and sip it. Sweet, Aromatic and Refreshing

Watermelon Juice: Blend watermelon along with some water and sugar (only if it's not very sweet). Strain the pulp (if seeded or you can leave it in if you like it pulpy and seedless). Pour into tall glasses and serve.

Green Mango Drink: Fresh green mangoes. Peel them and cut them into small peices. They are pretty tart. Add that to a blender with water, sugar and a some freshly roasted cumin, pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Indians believe that it can avoid heat stroke.

Fresh Lemonade: I guess popular all over the world. So refreshing and a quintessential summer drink.
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