Georgia Grown Chef Olivia Rader showed Made In Georgia Festival attendees how to make this easy and refreshing drink with some of the unique products available at the festival, such as Built By Bees’ Serrano-Infused Honey and Farm2Cocktail’s Strawberry Peppercorn Shrub. Aguas frescas are a category of homemade beverage popular throughout Mexico that is based on fruit (or other ingredients), blended with a sweetener and fresh water and strained (or not). There are endless flavor combinations for aguas frescas, so feel free to use this recipe to swap out different ingredients, taking note of the core elements that comprise it – one or more fruits (watermelon), a sweetener (the honey, the sweetener in the shrub), maybe an acidic ingredient (the vinegar in the shrub, or the lime juice) to balance out the sweetness, and water to dilute it. Keep in mind the sweetness of your chosen fruit when considering the amount of sweetener or balancing acidity, and that aguas frescas (literally “fresh waters”) do not have to be super sweet to be perfectly thirst-quenching on a hot summer day.
- 8 cups diced seedless watermelon (about 2 ½ pounds)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons mesquite smoky serrano honey
- ½ cup strawberry peppercorn shrub
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
Combine watermelon, lime juice, honey, shrub and basil leaves in blender. Blend on high until completely pureed, about 30 seconds.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher or other container filled halfway with ice. Stir to dilute slightly, and add more ice as needed to reach desired dilution.