This easy, refreshing Cucumber Agua Fresca (Agua de Pepino) is the perfect Summer drink. This recipe has cucumber, mint and lime poured over ice. A great healthy drink to keep you cool in the Summer. It is a non-alcoholic drink but but you can always add tequila, vodka, rum or gin!
Agua fresca is a delicious fruity non-alcoholic drink that is perfect for any day of the year. My favorite time to enjoy these is in the Spring and Summer when I want as much fruit as possible in my diet. Try an Orange Agua Fresca / Agua de Naranja or a Pineapple Agua Fresca!
I never tried agua fresca before moving to California. If I'm being honest, I never even heard of it before my move! Now that I've been introduced, there's no going back, I'm a converted agua fresca lover. It's refreshing, packs fruit, and is a bit tart - everything I love in one!
Aguas frescas come in so many different flavors, from pineapple (agua de piña) to hibiscus (agua de jamaica). The first one I ever tried was one like this recipe. The mint, lime, and bright green color take me to a tropical place!
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.
Agua de pepino or ‘cucumber water’ is an agua fresca flavored with cucumber. To take it up a notch, I love adding mint and lime.
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. Because the pulp is strained, the drink is smooth like water but packed with flavor.
STEP ONE: Add limes, cucumbers, mint and sugar into the blender.
STEP TWO: Pour the first four cups of water (or as much fits in your blender). Blend until smooth.
STEP THREE: Strain into a pitcher. (Keep the pulp and you can use it to make a leftover pulp tropical simple syrup!)
STEP FOUR: Add the remaining water. Add more sugar to adjust per your taste.
STEP FIVE: Pour over ice in small glasses.
If you have a juicer, juice the cucumbers, limes and mint. Add the juice to a pitcher and mix the water and sugar in.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- CUCUMBER. Definitely need cucumbers as the star of the show in the cucumber agua fresca. I used two English cucumbers. Substitute for four Persian cucumbers or two hothouse cucumbers if you can’t find.
- LIME. Lime is a must have in the agua fresca.
- MINT. If you can’t find mint or don’t like mint, you can definitely leave it out. A good substitute would be basil, for a more savory taste.
- SUGAR. Agua fresca can be too tart without sugar. I’m a huge fan of tart drinks, so I usually go lighter on sugar and you can too! It’s easily adjustable - add more after blending if it’s too tart for your preference. Use any type of sweetener. While I used turbinado sugar, try maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or simple syrup.
- WATER. Any type of drinkable water is fine - I use tap water.
Notes on Sugar
I used raw turbinado sugar (a kind of white cane sugar) in this agua de pepino recipe. I definitely recommend using sugar or the agua fresca can be quite tart. I use a small amount and it’s easy to add more after blending.
Any type of sugar works and is adjustable. Raw sugar works, but you could also use simple syrup, honey or agave to dissolve easier in the juice.
How to Store Agua Fresca
Keep agua fresca in a pitcher (without ice) in the fridge. It will last about 2-3 days.
Before drinking again, stir to mix ingredients together.
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Cucumber Agua Fresca (Agua de Pepino)
- 2 English Cucumbers skins still on
- 3 Limes peels still on
- ⅓ Cup Mint
- ⅓ Cup Sugar see note below
- 5 Cups Water 4 Cups + 1 Cup separated
- Make sure all fruit and mint are thoroughly washed. Halve the limes. Cut each cucumber in the middle and then slice each half lengthwise.
- Add cucumbers, limes, mint and sugar into the blender. Keep the skins of the cucumbers and limes on. Pour the 4 cups of water over. (If water doesn't fit in your blender, pour as much as fits. Then add the extra water in step 5)
- Blend until smooth.
- Strain into a large pitcher. Press on the pulp to get as much juice out as possible. (Save pulp to make a leftover pulp tropical simple syrup)
- Add the separated 1 cup of water to the pitcher. (If all of the water didn't fit in the blender, add it at this stage)
- Stir and add more sugar if preferred.
- Pour directly over ice in glasses or place the pitcher into the fridge for later.