Indian Recipes

Watermelon Agua Fresca | Refreshing Mexican drink

The Mexican agua fresca is simply a soft drink that contains no alcohol. This agua fresca recipe is a low-fat, vegan version with fresh, juicy watermelon, perfect for beating the summer heat. So, why not stir up a unique drink this time and welcome a change from the usual watermelon drinks you’re used to.

Agua Fresca served in glasses on a dark bamboo wicker tray

What is Agua Fresca?

Aguas frescas are the light non-alcoholic beverages popular in Mexico, the American Southwest and Central America. This is a Spanish term that literally translates to “cool or fresh water”.

These are usually a mixture of fruit, flowers, grains or seeds with water and sugar. Some popular flavors of agua fresca with fruit are grape, watermelon, berry, citrus and tart fruit, guava, mango, papaya, prickly pear, cantaloupe, honeydew melon. Other flavors include chia seeds, tamarind, hibiscus, vanilla, horchata, and more.

In addition to being a well-known street find in these regions, this drink is also sold in convenience stores. Locals also like to pair their food with this drink in juice bars and restaurants.

About Watermelon Agua Fresca

Summer is just around the corner and what better way to cool off your body than sipping on a super refreshing and chilling watermelon drink. This Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe is an absolutely easy vegan and low-fat recipe that’s ready in no time.

Watermelon agua fresca served in glasses

Since the watermelon is synonymous with the extremely hot weather conditions in India and is also a personal favorite fruit, I decided to recreate this Mexican drink at my home.

The texture and flavor of Mexican agua fresca is different than regular watermelon juice. The watermelon juice in the Agua Fresca recipe is strained and extracted from the pulp, unlike the watermelon juice that contains the pulp.

I used half a large watermelon which made about 5 glasses of the drink. To give the classic recipe a slight twist, I added a touch of ginger to my version.

This creates an earthy undertone that goes very well with the overall taste of watermelon, lemon and fresh mint. If you wish, you can skip adding the ginger.

This non-alcoholic watermelon drink is best served chilled or with ice cubes in the sweltering summer heat. It can also make the perfect party mocktail, where you can serve it in spice/salt rimmed glasses, with lemon wedges, a fancy stirrer or a sprig of mint.

Step by step guide

How to make agua fresca

1. First put the chopped watermelon cubes in a blender. Be sure to remove the pits from the watermelon as you cut it.

You will need 4 to 5 cups of diced chopped watermelon. Also add ½ teaspoon chopped ginger (about ½ inch peeled ginger). Pour 1 to 2 cups of water or as needed depending on desired consistency.

Also add sugar if you like. I usually choose to omit sugar in this drink, but you can add about ¼ cup or more as needed.

Watermelon cubes, ginger and water in blender

2. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Lemon juice is added to the blender

3. Blend to a smooth and fine consistency.

Mixing and making Agua Fresca

4. Place a large bowl under a medium-sized strainer. Pour the juice into the strainer.

Pour agua fresca into a colander placed in a glass bowl

5. Squeeze the remaining pulp onto the strainer with a spoon so that all the juice is squeezed out. Discard the pulp.

If you wish, you can omit this step of straining the juice.

Squeezed Watermelon Agua Fresca Juice

6. Pour the juice into glasses. Add a few ice cubes if you like. Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedges, or serve as is.

If you want to serve it cold, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Or add cold water while blending.

agua fresca served in glasses

expert tips

  1. Since watermelons already have a high water content, you can adjust the amount of water you add. Decide to add less or more water as needed.
  2. Adding sugar is optional and can be added according to your sweetness preferences.
  3. Adding ginger is also optional and can be skipped.
  4. Agua Fresca is best served chilled or with ice cubes. If you do not want this, you can mix the drink with chilled water and consume it immediately.

frequently asked Questions

Is Agua Fresca a Healthy Drink?

Yes, agua fresca is an extremely healthy drink when made without sugar or sweeteners. It’s vegan, low in fat and also moisturizes.

Can I make agua fresca with alcohol or soda?

This is a personal choice. But it is better to leave it as it is to take full advantage of its health benefits.

How long can I keep this drink?

It is best to consume the agua fresca as soon as possible. If stored, refrigerate for a few hours.

What is the difference between Mexican Agua Fresca and regular Indian watermelon juice?

The main difference between the two is consistency. The watermelon juice in Agua Fresca is strained and extracted from the pulp, unlike watermelon juice which contains the pulp. So, agua fresca is thinner and lighter than watermelon juice, which is thicker and bulkier.

Can I substitute other fruits for the watermelon in this recipe?

Yes you can as there are many classic Mexican versions of the agua fresca made with different fruits like orange, melon, berries, papaya, pineapple etc. You can also omit the juice if you prefer.

More drink recipes to try!

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agua fresca served in glasses

Watermelon Agua Fresca | Refreshing Mexican drink

This Watermelon Agua Fresca is a cooling, refreshing, non-alcoholic, vegan and gluten-free Mexican drink made with watermelon, ginger, lemon juice, sugar (optional) and water. Perfect for braving the summer heat.

preparation time 15 minutes

cooking time 0 minutes

total time 15 minutes

cooking modePrevent your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe

  • Chop half of a large watermelon. You can use the whole watermelon if you like. Remove the seeds as you cut the watermelon.

  • Blend all the chopped watermelon cubes, ginger, lemon juice, sugar and water in a blender.

  • Place a large bowl or pan under a medium-sized strainer.

  • Pour the juice onto the strainer.

  • Squeeze the pulp onto the strainer with the back of a spoon to allow the extra juice to seep through as well. If you wish, you can skip this step of straining the juice.
  • Discard the pulp.

  • Pour the agua fresca into glasses and add a few ice cubes if you like.

  • Serve the watermelon agua fresca immediately, garnished with lemon wedges or sprigs of mint. You can also enjoy the drink pure without ice cubes and garnish.

  • The amount of water can be adjusted. Since watermelons already have a high water content, you can adjust the amount of water you add.
  • Adding sugar is optional. Add to taste and depending on the sweetness of the watermelon. You can also add your favorite sweeteners.
  • Try using a sweet watermelon so you can omit or reduce the sugar.
  • You can also add ½ cup of water for a slightly thicker juice.
  • Ginger and lemon juice can be skipped.
  • The recipe can be reduced or enlarged as needed.

nutritional information

Watermelon Agua Fresca | Refreshing Mexican drink

amount per serving

calories 78
Calories from fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

sodium 4mg0%

potassium 145mg4%

carbohydrates 19g6%

fiber 1g4%

sugar 18 gr20%

protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 692 IU14%

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

vitamin C 11mg13%

vitamin E 1mg7%

vitamin k 1µg1%

calcium 11mg1%

Vitamin B9 (folate) 4µg1%

iron 1mg6%

magnesium 13mg3%

phosphorus 14mg1%

zinc 1mg7%

*Percent Daily Values ​​are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Agua Fresca recipe post from the archives, first published in April 2013, was republished and updated on May 21, 2022.

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