It’s hard to admit that summer is almost over. The back-to-school catalogs are clogging my mailbox, my appointment book is crammed with check-ups and haircuts, and my kids are desperately trying to finish their summer reading. Even though there are plenty of sunny days ahead, I can’t help wishing summer would last forever.
How do you maintain that carefree spirit even when we are all back to the grind? I say, bring on the fruit.
Agua Fresca is a classic Mexican drink, made with equal parts fresh fruit and water. For this recipe, blend the juiciest pineapple you can find (frozen defrosted fruit will work, too) with lime or lemon, filtered or bubbly water, and just enough sugar to make it all sing. Spiked with mint and perhaps a splash of your favorite alcohol (vodka, tequila, rum, etc.), it is intensely fruity and absolutely refreshing.
Try this recipe using watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or papaya…and remember to drink in sweet summer as long as you can.
Makes 6 cups, 6-8 servings
1 ripe fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (about 1 pound or 4 cups cut fruit)
1/2 bunch (leaves from 3-4 sprigs) fresh mint plus a few sprigs for garnish
3 limes, juiced, plus 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
4 cups filtered water
Agave syrup, to taste
1. Place the pineapple, mint leaves, and lime juice in the blender. Fill the blender to the top with water and liquefy on high speed until well-blended and frothy. Taste, adding agave syrup if you like your drink sweeter.
2. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve or strainer into a large pitcher, pressing hard on the solids with a ladle or spoon until all the liquid has passed through. Chill for several hours.
3. Serve over ice, garnished with mint and a lime wedge.
For another thirst-quencher, try my Pomegranate-Mint Mojitos.
What cools you down on a hot summer day? Tell us here and you’ll have a good chance of winning the August cooking contest!
Photo credit: thekitchn.com