Aguas frescas are traditional Mexican drinks made with ice water, sugar and fruit. Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard takes some liberties with her particularly refreshing version, adding fresh mint and ginger along with some lemon juice and honey. Her aguas frescas are also terrific with a shot of rum or vodka.
Cocktail Party Recipes
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 cups water
1/3 cup sliced fresh ginger (about 2 ounces)
2 ounces mint sprigs, leaves only
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon slices for garnish
1 1/2 liters chilled sparkling water or seltzer
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, honey and water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the ginger and half of the mint leaves and let stand until cooled, about 1 hour.
Strain the liquid into a large pitcher, pressing hard on the ginger and mint leaves to extract as much of the liquid as possible; discard the solids. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Add the remaining mint leaves, the lemon juice and the lemon slices to the pitcher. Stir in the sparkling water and serve in tall glasses over ice.
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