This Cantaloupe and Cucumber Aqua Fresca is the perfect summer drink to serve when the temperatures rise and you want something refreshing to serve your guests! It also can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Transfer to a large aqua fresca jar and let your guests serve themselves!
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How to Make the Perfect Aqua Fresca
Step 1: Prep the Cantaloupe
First things first, find two ripe cantaloupes!
How do you know if a cantaloupe is ripe?
A cantaloupe should be firm, and smell sweet and flavorful. If there is no fragrance to your cantaloupe, you will not have a very flavorful Aqua Fresca.
Cut and deseed both cantaloupes, then cut into one-inch chunks.
You’ll need about 12 cups of cut cantaloupe.
Step 2: Make the Simple Syrup
The simple syrup will add sweetness and flavor to our Aqua Frescas. A simple syrup recipe is equal parts sugar and water and is a great way to sweeten drinks. It eliminates that grainy texture that happens if you just add plain sugar which can be hard to dissolve in a cold drink.
In a large saucepan, add water and white sugar. Simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside and allow to cool.
Step 3: Make Aqua Fresca Puree
Before you begin mixing everything together, you’ll need the juice of two limes. To get the most juice from your limes, roll them on a hard surface, like your counter top or cutting board, to soften up the pulp.
Tip: If they are still too firm, pop them in the microwave for 3-5 seconds to soften them up. Works like a charm!
Now that we have all of our components ready, we can begin blending the cantaloupe, simple syrup and lime juice. Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to puree in batches.
After everything is blended, you can either strain the mixture or leave it pulpy. I choose to strain but the choice is up to you!
Step 4: Assemble the Aqua Fresca
Now that your puree is complete, add it to a Aqua Fresca jar. I find the three-gallon size is perfect for entertaining.
You’ll notice the recipe calls for 6-8 cups of water, depending on how sweet you like it. Adding more water will dilute it and make it less sweet. I prefer 7 cups of water which for me is the perfect sweetness!
Then, peel an English cucumber at about every half inch or so, leaving “stripes” for an elegant look. Slice and add the cucumber to the Aqua Fresca. Place the container in the fridge overnight so all the flavors can marry.
When you are ready to serve, garnish the glasses with a lime, piece of cantaloupe and cucumber!
If your guests like a little fizz with their drinks, add a splash of club soda to each glass or even a splash of champagne would be great too!
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- 12 cups cantaloupe (roughly 2 cantaloupe)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 6-8 cups of water (my favorite is 7 cups for the right sweetness)
- 1 sliced English cucumber
- Place 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a sauce pan. Simmer until sugar dissolves. Set aside to col.
- Meanwhile dice cantaloupe into cubes. Transfer to a blender, add lime juice, 6 cups of water to start and the simple syrup. Blender until smooth. (Depending upon size of your blender you may need to do this in batches) Taste for sweetness, add more water in 1 cup increments if too sweet.
- Strain if a smoother consistency is desired. Transfer to a pitcher of Aqua Fresca Jar. Add 1 sliced cucumber to float in Aqua Fresca and provide more flavor. Chill until ready to serve.
- To serve pour aqua fresca in a glass, garnish with a toothpick threaded with melon ball and melon chunk and a sprig of fresh mint.
- You can also add a splash of prosecco or champagne too!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 97mg Carbohydrates: 23g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g