Chef Tom – ¡Esta muy caliente!

Aguas frescas, water-based fruit drinks, are a cool way to make your fresh fruit go further—especially in the summertime when you might have a larger watermelon than you know what to do with, or peaches that are starting to shrivel.

Muy Delicioso

These are Mexican street drinks. They’re traditionally very sweet and thin, but you can easily adjust the water and sugar to your taste and the sweetness of your fruit.

Aquas Frescas

Watermelon is the classic and is hard to beat. But any ripe melon will work, including the more exotic like Galia, Charantais, and Canary.

I also like the tropical flavors of mangoes and peaches together. You can get creative by adding a handful of mint or other herb, or fresh ginger. Substitute sparkling water for plain if you prefer bubbles.

Serve these Aguas Frescas with a lemon or lime wedge if you like more acidity.

They make excellent and refreshing cocktails, too, playing well with rum, gin, vodka, and even tequila.

Melon

Master Recipe for Aguas Frescas (Mexican Fruit Coolers)

Makes 8 drinks

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups water

4 cups chopped fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, papaya, strawberries, oranges, peaches, mangoes, or any combination)

Ice cubes

Lemon or lime wedges (optional)

Directions:

Stir the sugar and water together in a large pitcher until the sugar dissolves. Measure out 1 cup. Puree the fruit and the 1 cup sugar water in a blender.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer back into the pitcher with the sugar water, mashing with a whisk or wooden spoon to eliminate any pulp.

Taste and add more sugar, if desired. Serve over ice, with a lemon or lime wedge, if desired.

Horchata

My personal favorite Aguas Frescas is Horchata (or-shahta)

Horchata is a delicious rice-based drink that you can find at most Mexican restaurants. Because it’s made with cinnamon (canella) it reminds me of rice pudding. Very comforting. Eating Mexican food without an horchata just doesn’t taste right.

This recipe takes patience, but it’s well worth it. If you want to get the smooth, rich flavor, then you want to make sure that you follow these instructions perfectly. 

Ingredients

Authentic Mexican Horchata

Makes 4-6 drinks

Ingredients:

1 cup of white rice

1 cup sugar adjust depending on how sweet you want – 2/3 cup of sugar if you want it less sweet.

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cinnamon stick

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Can 12 ounces Evaporated milk

1.5 cups of milk or almond milk

1 Liter of water

Ice

Directions:

Start by soaking the rice, cinnamon, and almonds in a bowl of water all night, or at least for 5 hours so that the rice softens slightly.

Strain the water from the cinnamon, rice, and almond mixture that were soaking, disposing of water.

Blend the cinnamon, rice, and almond mixture with evaporated milk until a smoother mix is formed and the grains of rice are completely liquified.

Strain into a pitcher, and add the sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix well until everything is well combined. Add a liter of water, and serve with ice. Enjoy!

ON THAT NOTE

Bob just posted a bit about a highly talented musician, Jonah Nilsson. I had to follow some of the connections and found another couple of tasty treats, including our old genius pal, Jacob Collier.


Jonah Nilsson – Diamond Ring (Feat. Steve Vai)


Borrowed Time – Jonah Nilsson


SONGS FOR LOVERS – COFFEE BREAK IS OVER


Jacob Collier feat. Jonah Nilsson – Do I Do (Live) | Montreux Jazz Festival 2017

BONUS TRACK

Jacob Collier ft. Mahalia: All I Need

=CTH=

Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at www.hippkitchen.com

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