Staying at your finest requires staying hydrated. And whereas the cups of tea that improve our days present a welcome refreshment, some inventive mixing of tea and custom can enliven any routine, whereas additionally including a scrumptious dose of health-enhancing vitamins.
Agua fresca, which accurately interprets to “fresh water,” is an awfully refreshing beverage that has lengthy been loved all through Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. It’s ideally suited to balancing warmth, whether or not that is perhaps the warmth of a sweltering August afternoon, the warmth produced by your favourite fashion of exercise, or the warmth present in your favourite chili peppers. Far from being one specific drink, agua fresca really refers to an entire host of sipping choices made by mixing crushed, squeezed or pureed fruit, flower petals, herbs and/or grains with water and, typically, further sweetener–in that approach, an agua fresca is sort of a tisane or different infusion, and performs notably properly with tea. You have definitely already loved some kind of agua fresca and never even realized it. The basic American lemonade is absolutely an agua fresca, as are iced hibiscus infusions—though when pondering by way of agua frescas, that chilled hibiscus can be known as “Agua Jamaica.”
Whatever flavors and kinds you utilize, this drink is all about cleaning hydration, and marries fantastically with tea. Tea is finest launched to your favourite agua fresca both as a substitute for some or the entire water, or inside a easy syrup used to stability, flippantly sweeten, and spotlight the drink. Some spas have begun producing in-house “vitamin waters,” and your agua fresca may be enhanced in the identical approach with a couple of drops of an all-natural liquid vitamin complement if desired.
Classically, when making an agua fresca, the fruit can be painstakingly crushed by hand, then optionally strained and combined with portions of water and sugar. Today, with the assistance of a blender or meals processor, your fruit may be pureed in seconds, making these drinks easy to supply—however take into account, we’re flavoring the water with the fruit and different elements, not making a smoothie! These cleaning drinks needs to be mild, contemporary, cooling, and hydrating… not heavy, wealthy, or overly candy. If your inventive spirit takes you in different instructions, then you’re definitely creating great drinks—simply not a real agua fresca.
You will wish to use the freshest, ripest fruits you will discover. In reality, don’t be afraid to make use of these fruits which are beginning to get a contact over-ripe. As a bonus, in case your fruit may be very ripe, and you’ve got a lightweight hand with the lime and/ or lemon that you simply squeeze in, it’s possible you’ll discover that you simply don’t want any added sweetener, however that’s as much as you and your private palate.
Think of the recipes as a template to get you began, not a tough and quick formulation. As a normal method think about the next:
• Wash your fruit properly. If there’s a exhausting pores and skin or rind, as on a melon, prickly pear, mango, and so forth., take away the pores and skin and minimize into chunks roughly 1 inch sq..
• Puree with simply sufficient water or coordinated chilly tea to assist the fruit in easily pureeing. • Strain via a superb sieve or cheesecloth right into a pitcher.
• Squeeze in contemporary lime (or lemon) and stir in contemporary chilly water to taste.
• Sweeten to taste with Turbinado sugar, superfine white sugar, agave, honey, or easy syrup ready with coordinated tea and herbs.
• Serve over loads of ice, garnishing with a number of of the included fruits or herbs.
Cucumber Agua Fresca Recipe
This method to incorporating tea into an in any other case conventional agua fresca makes use of a tea easy syrup as an alternative of straight sugar. Tea might have as an alternative been used to switch some or the entire water. The inexperienced tea and lemongrass easy syrup used is certainly one of my favorites; attempt combining it with some contemporary basil in a Gimlet for a spectacular drink. Serves 12
- Four cups of washed and cubed cucumbers, ideally English cucumbers
- 12 cups water, divided
- Four limes at room temperature, freshly juiced (approx. Four oz.)
- 4 -6 ounces of Green Tea Lemongrass easy syrup (to taste-see beneath to obtain recipe)
- Pinch of salt
Puree cucumbers (if the pores and skin isn’t waxed, you possibly can go away it on when pureeing) with 2 cups of water. Strain properly and push as a lot liquid as doable out of the solids. Discard the solids and switch the cucumber combination to a big container. Stir in Four ounces of the inexperienced tea and lemongrass easy syrup, 6 cups of water, a pinch of salt and the juice of three of the limes. Stir properly and add further lime juice, water, or syrup to taste.
Simple syrups are an excellent solution to sweeten your agua frescas and may provide all kinds of choices for your whole drinks. If you like, you possibly can after all use honey, agave, or your favourite pure and even synthetic sweeteners, however I’m a terrific fan of easy syrups with great contemporary, layered flavors.
There are a number of colleges of thought on making easy syrups. Many mixologists suggest utilizing minimal warmth to forestall the sucrose from breaking down into glucose and fructose, however I typically discover that I wish to mix a number of totally different elements inside my syrups, a few of which want extra warmth for correct taste extraction. In the above recipe for inexperienced tea and lemongrass easy syrup, simmering is used for the lemongrass. This methodology additionally works properly for different heat-stable elements like complete or cracked spices, dried herbs, or dried fruits.
Notice that the tea goes in on the finish. Tea leaves, like contemporary herbs, delicate berries, and flower petals, typically do properly with much less warmth—it helps to take care of their contemporary, clear flavors.
Once you’ve mastered the approach of easy syrups utilizing this recipe as a template, an entire world opens up and you can begin to create your personal signature syrups. For occasion, the lemongrass might be changed with dried peaches, cracked black pepper, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Then maybe the prompt inexperienced tea might be changed with an oolong tea as an alternative.
notice that this submit was initially featured in our print subject of Tea Magazine
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