A Summer Refresher – Infused Water (Agua Fresca)

by Lana Stuart on May 29, 2012 · 17 comments

Infused Water (Agua Fresca)

If you live in the southern part of the country, you know that we didn’t have much in the way of winter weather this past season. And it started getting hot early this year. Like in March. But just lately, we’ve had real summer heat. Here in north Georgia we’ve had low 90′s with the ever-present summer humidity.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the warm weather. Winter makes me miserable. I just want to wrap up in a blanket and stay there until spring. So when warmer weather comes around, I’m always a happy girl. I will be the first to admit, though, that the warmth and humidity is a strength sapping combination. Just a little yard work and you can’t wait to get back inside to the nice cool air conditioning. Whatever did we do before air conditioning? I actually do remember it and it was tough.

On these hot days, you need something to restore your cool. To refresh and replace your energy. And I think I’ve found just the thing to do that. This lovely infused water can be made quickly and kept in the fridge for a couple of days refilling your pitcher as needed.

Infused water or agua fresca (literally “fresh water”) is, I believe, part of Mexican cuisine. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I understand that agua fresca is a popular item sold by street vendors there. It’s a combination of fruits and vegetables, sometimes herbs, with water. Sometimes sweetener is involved and sometimes not. It’s left to sit and allow the fruits and veggies to impart their delicate flavors into the water. And that’s all there is to it. Simple, huh?

I’ve tried lots of combinations and have to say that this combo is one of my favorites. I’ve tried it with herbs, too, but for me the herbs are just overpowering. I prefer only the fruit and veggies. And I like mine with a little sweetness.

Start by prepping your fruits and veggies. For this infused water, I used cucumbers, strawberries, and pink grapefruit. It’s also good with oranges if grapefruit just isn’t your thing. For the cucumbers, I peel away all but a few strips of green because I find the cucumber peel imparts some bitterness that I don’t especially care for. You do whatever you like.

Layering fruit for infused water

Layer your fruits and veggies in a pretty pitcher. Then dissolve the sweetener (use whatever you like – I use Splenda) in a couple of cups of water and pour that over the fruit. Finish filling the pitcher with fresh tap or bottled water. Cover and refrigerate for several hours to give the flavors time to infuse.  Serve over ice.

Enjoy!

Infused Water (Agua Fresca)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Infused Water (Agua Fresca)

Refreshing water infused with fruits and vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 small pink grapefruit
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Peel the cucumber leaving only a few thin strips of green peel.
  2. Slice thinly and place in a two quart pitcher.
  3. Hull the strawberries and slice crosswise. Place them in the pitcher.
  4. Cut the ends off the grapefruit. Slice into thick slices, then into wedges. Place the wedges in the pitcher with the cucumber and strawberries.
  5. Dissolve Splenda in two cups of water. Pour into the pitcher and fill with additional water.
  6. Refrigerate for two to three hours. Serve over ice with some of the fruit as garnish in each glass.
http://www.lanascooking.com/2012/05/29/a-summer-refresher-infused-water-agua-fresca/

Other infused water recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Denise @ Creative Kitchen May 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Lana,

This water looks so refreshing! I know what you mean by a mild winter….after 2 especially COLD winters for South Florida, it was interesting to see it not really show up at all this year. ;)

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2 Lana May 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Thanks, Denise. It’s really good on a hot, humid day.

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3 Kathy Sykes May 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

This is so appealing to the eye that I must try it to see how it tastes! I had some cucumber water one time at a bloggers conference and it was surprisingly delicious!

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4 Lana May 30, 2012 at 7:16 am

I like the cucumber in it, too, Kathy. It adds a little something unexpected.

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5 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen May 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm

This looks perfect for summer. I usually drink water and put in a slice of lemon sometimes, this would be 10 times better!

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6 Lana May 30, 2012 at 7:17 am

It’s so much better than just plain water. You can use whatever combination of fruits you like and sweeten or not according to your taste.

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7 Penny Wolf May 30, 2012 at 7:22 am

It sounds so delicate and a great way to get in those fluids! I also want to try fruit “shrugs”. Here is a recipe for it. It also sounds interesting….

http://www.grouprecipes.com/46665/colonial-raspberry-shrub-drink.html

Thank you!

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8 Barbara | Creative Culinary May 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Looks gorgeous and sounds so refreshing. How bad am I that I want to splash some vodka in there too? :)

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9 Lana May 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Not a bad idea, Barb!

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10 Mary May 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Lovely idea – I feel refreshed just looking at the picture
Mary x

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11 Heather Mulholland May 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I would have never thought of this combination, I’m keen to try :)

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12 Lana May 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Heather – the pink grapefruit really makes for a refreshing mixture. Orange is just as good, as is lime.

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13 Nancy@acommunaltable May 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hi Lana!! I’ve had these in Mexico and they truly are refreshing – in those versions they mashed the fruit pulp and added water and sugar – but given how much water I drink, your version is much better! It really is such a pretty way to serve water… and tasty too!
My favorite one is cucumber, mint and lemon…. it’s just about time to start mixing some up here in So Cal although it’s not nearly as warm here … yet!

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14 Lana May 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm

There are really endless combinations for this infused water. Only problem is that it’s almost too pretty to drink!

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15 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. July 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

This looks so good! Must go pin this on Pinterest

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16 mommawithfour November 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

what can I use aside from splenda? thanks

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17 Lana November 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

You can use any sweetener that you like.

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