By Kelly Bogard
It’s getting to be that time of year again. The kids are itchin’ to get out of school for the summer, baseball is in full swing, and I’m resisting the urge to request my desk be relocated outside so I can catch some rays. Another thing is happening, too. All of the wonderful fruits in Texas are beginning to grow and ripen. Strawberries in Texas peaked this spring, and watermelons and peaches are on the way. I can’t wait to start enjoying them.
I can remember helping my Granddaddy tend to his raised beds in my grandparents’ backyard. We would carefully mix in just the right amount of sand to make them grow, and every time I visited, I always checked to see if any were ready.
“Agua fresca” is Spanish for “water refreshment” and is typically a mixture of fresh fruit, water and sugar. Classic flavors of agua fresca include watermelon, cantaloupe, lemon and lime, but more and more people are experimenting with different fruits like blackberry and rhubarb.
For Sparkling Strawberry Agua Fresca, you will need the following ingredients:
1 quart strawberries (washed and hulled)
6 cups sparkling water (chilled)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Start by combining the sparkling water and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Next, puree your strawberries in a blender until they liquefy. Separate the strawberry juice through a strainer to keep the seeds from getting into the drink. Combine the strawberry juice and water, mixing well. Then add your lime juice and stir. Now you’re ready to pour and enjoy this refreshing summer drink, which is great for hot days in the yard or maybe out and about at a festival.
Speaking of festivals, did you know next weekend is the 38th Annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival? For three days, May 20-22, the Pasadena fairgrounds will be covered with strawberries. You can even grab a slice of the world’s largest strawberry shortcake. If you do head out to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival, save some of that shortcake for me!
Recipe: Sparkling Strawberry Agua Fresca
Summary: Refreshing Strawberry Sparkling Water
Tip: Use a spoon to help the strawberry puree through the strainer. You also can reuse the strainer when juicing the limes to remove the pulp and seeds.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Culinary tradition: Mexican