Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sparkling Blackberry Lime Aguas Frescas

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is a day to commemorate the Battle of Puebla in 1862, where the outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French? If you did, your history knowledge far exceeds mine. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with food, drinks, music and dancing. I wanted to forgo the more commonplace Mexican fare for something that I just had the pleasure of experiencing last week - Aguas Frescas.

Literally translated, aguas frescas means fresh water. They are made from fruits (sweet or acidic), seeds and flowers and are commonly served throughout Mexico. I had a pineapple aguas frescas last week and it was fruit infused perfection - sweet, cold and slightly textured. I enjoyed the slightly fibrous consistency of the pineapple in the drink, though I know many beverage purists who would enjoy it strained in pure liquid form.

Aguas frescas are meant to be more of a refreshment than a sweet beverage, so there is no need to kill it with sugar. Any seasonal fruit can be used, and the possibilities are endless when you think of fruit and herb creations... watermelon basil, cantaloupe thyme... the sky's the limit. Here is my twist on aguas frescas.

Sparkling Blackberry Lime Aguas Frescas

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
2 key limes, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup ginger ale
Crushed ice
(Serves one)

Add blackberries, lime juice, honey and sugar to food processor. Pulse for 15-20 seconds until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add 1/2 cup ice water and 1/2 cup crushed ice. Pulse again until ice is well incorporated. Pour into glass with a few cubes of ice. Pour ginger ale on top and lightly stir.

For those who enjoy a pure juice drink without seeds or pulp, depending on the fruit used, first pulse just the blackberries in the food processor. Strain the blackberry juice through a fine sieve and return the juice to food processor. Add lime juice, sugar and honey and continue with the recipe as written.

How fantastic is that? It wish you could see how beautiful it really is, but into each cooks life, a little food must fall... cascade, gush, splash and drip. From this point onward, this traumatic episode will be referred to as "the frescas incident". An innocent bobble brought about what looked like a fruit tinged crime scene throughout my kitchen, living room, walls, rug, 2 plants, a case of beer and myself. After an hour of scrubbing and cursing under my breath, I am renewed and determined to recreate this refreshing drink. And there will be pictures... oh yes, there will be pictures.

Update: Round two was a complete success. I have included two pictures of the "fresca incident" carnage for your entertainment. Proceed with caution and enjoy :)

The fresca incident:

The finished product makes it all worthwhile


1 comment:

lisat said...

the "fresca incident" is a day that will live in delicious infamy. i'm getting thirsty just reading this post.