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Melon Agua Fresca

This refreshing Melon Agua Fresca is just what you need to beat the heat! Easily made with a base of cantelope, it’s a bright and non-alcoholic drink to carry you through the end of summer.

two glasses of melon agua fresca next to a pool

What is agua fresca?

Literally translated as “fresh water,” agua fresca is a type of non-alcoholic beverage made from blended fruit, sugar, and water. Flowers, cereals, or seeds can also be added, depending on the regional variation. It has been called “the favorite drink of Mexico City.”

Origins

Believed to have originated with the Aztecs (Mexicas), the first aguas frescas were created from fruits gathered along river journeys through Tenochtitlán (modern day Mexico city). These people added ice from the nearby (but dormant) volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. As their popularity increased, aguas frescas became popular street fare across Guatemala and Mexico. Michoacán, a state known for its sugarcane production, really increased their appeal.

It’s worth noting that this is not my heritage nor ancestry, so I am researching these topics to provide you with my own variations. For a more in-depth resource, please feel free to read more on New Mexico Magazine.

The Most Popular Variations

If you’ve seen agua fresca at a restaurant, it’s possible they were serving horchata or jamaica. Horchata has a rice base and is blended with cinnamon. Jamaica is made by boiling hibiscus flowers and then adding sugar and water. Both are served chilled and are very refreshing.

an overhead view of a sliced canteloupe

Ingredients Needed for Melon Agua Fresca

  • One cup chopped cantelope
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Juice of 1/2 of a large lime (or one small lime)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Unlike juice, agua fresca is more like a smoothie since we are not filtering out the fruit pulp. This means we retain all that healthy fiber and reduce food waste!

Tips for Choosing a Good Cantelope

  • The best way to begin choosing a cantelope is by smelling it. The stem end should smell lightly sweet (but not overpowering).
  • Feel the melon for any soft spots. If there are a couple, it is ready to go. It should be relatively firm with a slight amount of give. You do not want a melon that is too hard. Additionally, similar to watermelon, it should feel heavy for its size.
  • If the stem is still attached, it was likely cut from the vine too soon. Avoid these.
  • Finally, for a ripe melon you want a skin color that is fully beige, with no green spots coming through.
an overhead shot of a glass of melon agua fresca poolside with a straw

How long does agua de melon keep in the fridge?

This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to three days. It will likely separate a bit as it chills, so give it a good stir before pouring. As mentioned above, the texture is naturally pretty thick.

Ways to Customize This Recipe

Here are some other flavors that you can substitute for melon in this recipe:

  • Seedless watermelon (obvious, but fun)
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber and mint
  • Strawberry
  • Peach

I do not recommend any fruit that have small seeds (such as grapes or blueberries).

For more of a slushie, try blending in ice in place of some of the water.

Other Refreshing Summer Drinks to Try Next

Cucumber Melon Gin Fizz

Strawberry Peach Frosé

Salted Watermelon Margarita

4-Ingredient Piña Colada

What Summer Drink Are You? Quiz

two melon agua frescas on a table next to a pool
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two glasses of melon agua fresca next to a pool

Melon Agua Fresca


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This refreshing Melon Agua Fresca is just what you need to beat the heat! Easily made with a base of cantelope, it’s a bright and non-alcoholic drink to carry you through the end of summer.


Ingredients

Scale
  • One cup chopped cantelope
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Juice of 1/2 of a large lime (or one small lime, I would go up to 1/4 cup juice)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to combine. Add a splash more water as needed, to achieve desired consistency. You want it to be pourable.
  2. Serve over ice, garnishing with a lime wedge as desired.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Mexican-American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One half of recipe
  • Calories: 45 calories
  • Sugar: 18.5 grams
  • Sodium: 177 milligrams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 23.8 grams
  • Fiber: 1.3 grams
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: melon, drink, cantelope

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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