Hello Travel Peeps!
Aguas de fruta is an extremely popular drink in Yucatán, Mexico 🇲🇽. Also called Agua fresca in other areas of Mexico, these non-alcoholic drinks are made with water, fruit and sugar. Some have cereal, as is the case with horchata (rice). Translated as fruit water (agua de fruta) or fresh/cool water (agua fresca), these delightful and truly refreshing beverages come in a variety of flavors, with tamarind and jamaica (which is hibiscus in Spanish), along with horchata, being most popular. Look for the agua de jamaica recipe below!
Agua de fruta is usually sold by street vendors, or at market stalls. I usually buy mine at one of two market stalls in the main market. I am particularly fond of the mandarin, orange, lime and pineapple aguas de fruta. I usually ask for less sugar so that I may better enjoy this site to see flavors of those fruits. My daughter enjoys watermelon and lime best (with more sugar). Aguas de fruta are served in 1-liter plastic or styrofoam cups, with a straw, a lot of ice and a plastic bag tightly wrapped above the cup. Unfortunately, this is not the most earth-friendly way to serve this drink, but it does allow for it to melt and stay cool. Since a lot of ice is added to the agua de fruta, the plastic prevents overflowing. In order to drink, one will cut a little hole in the plastic bag and slide the straw through it.
The photos attached below are from those two little market stalls that I mentioned. The colors of the drinks are fantastic, aren't they? No color added. The various flavors you see are: strawberry, lime and cucumber, watermelon, lime and chaya (known as tree spinach and native to the Yucatán peninsula; it is a good source of protein, vitamins, calcium and iron. It is also rich in antioxidants but the leaves need to be cooked since they contain glucoside and glucoside can release cyanide. A couple leaves a day are supposedly okay to eat), melon, pineapple and jamaica.
Definitely try agua de fruta during a visit to Yucatán! If you have enjoyed these refreshing drinks, what was your favorite flavor?
How to make agua de Jamaica:
● 1 cup of hibiscus flower
● 12 cups of water
● 1/2 cup of sugar
● Ice (traditionally you would use a big block of ice, not ice cubes)
● Put 4 cups of water and the hibiscus flowers in a pot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes over medium heat.
● Strain the water and reserve the flowers (for they can be reused; or discard).
● Pour into a pitcher and add the rest of the water.
● Add the sugar and mix well until it fully dissolves. Let it cool.
● Serve with ice.