This orange agua fresca recipe is easy, sweet and refreshing. Made with only three ingredients including freshly squeezed orange juice! This traditional Mexican agua de naranja is the perfect year-round drink!
If you’ve never had agua fresca, it’s a delicious, light and refreshing juice. This non-alcoholic drink is a traditional juice recipe from Mexico. It’s perfect for the Spring and Summer — and especially for groups and easy drinking!
I never had agua fresca prior to my move to Southern California. They’re typically served in large plastic pitchers at a street taco vendor or on a cart on the side of the road. The most common of this fresh juice is hibiscus (or agua de jamaica), cucumber (or agua de pepino) and pineapple (or agua de piña).
I love fresh juices, especially in the hot Summers of Los Angeles. In my old apartment (with NO A/C!), I would love sipping agua fresca every day. I still do, even with an A/C!
If you’re on the lookout for a healthier day-drink alternative, agua fresca is it! This agua de naranja recipe is the perfect BBQ and poolside juice. The best part is, you can make it your poolside cocktail too by adding a shot of liquor!
What is agua fresca
Agua fresca is a traditional Mexican drink or juice. The literal translation of agua fresca is ‘fresh water’. It is water blended with fruit, tea, and/or vegetables. It is sweetened with sugar and served cold or over ice.
What does agua fresca taste like
If you’ve never had agua fresca, think of it as a fruit-packed water, or like a lemonade or iced tea. You don't need to strain the pulp, meaning aguas frescas maintain many nutrients!
How to Make Agua Fresca de Naranja
Making an agua fresca recipe with oranges is actually easier than any other agua fresca. That’s because you can simply juice the citrus and don't have to blend it!
STEP ONE: Juice the oranges.
STEP TWO: Pour juice, water and sweetener into a large pitcher.
STEP THREE: Refrigerate for a few hours or pour immediately over ice.
Best Oranges to Use
These are the best oranges for juicing! They are the most juicy and are typically used for orange juice.
Cara Cara Oranges
Cara Cara oranges are harvested in my home state of California! Cara Cara’s are peak season from December to April. These are very sweet so you may not need to add extra sweetener!
Tangerines & Mandarins
Mandarins are different from oranges, but from the same species. Mandarins can definitely be used in substitution for oranges! They are sweeter than the typical orange. My first time making this agua fresca, I used Sumo mandarins. You won’t need as much sugar if you use mandarins.
Oranges Not Recommended for Use
This orange is known for its beautiful reddish flesh color. Blood oranges are recommended for juices as it is a much smaller orange and sweet.
Navel oranges are the most common type of orange. The juice can be so sweet that it ferments. This type of orange is not recommended for use in making agua fresca.
Frequently Asked Questions for Agua de Naranja
Can I use another sugar from agave?
Absolutely! You can substitute agave for maple syrup, honey, monkfruit sweetener, regular turbinado or coconut sugars.
How do I store agua fresca?
I like putting my pitcher of agua fresca straight into the fridge.
Can I use a juicer?
Yes! I used my favorite juicer, a Nutribullet Pro Juicer. I cut off of the peels first and then juice.
Other Agua Frescas to Try
Orange Agua Fresca / Agua de Naranja
- 3 Cups Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice about 9 oranges
- 4 Cups Water
- ½ Cup Agave Nectar
- Squeeze the oranges into a bowl or measuring cup.
- Pour the freshly squeezed orange juice into a large pitcher.
- Add the water and agave syrup into the pitcher. Stir together.
- Place pitcher in the fridge for at least 30-minutes, or pour over ice in a glass.