Picture the sweltering Texas heat. We are wilting, so amá slices some cucumber and shares it among us kids. Cool, soothing. It did relieve heat fatigue and even sometimes nausea from over-exertion. Picking cotton is hell.
Pair lime with the cucumber and, yes, you can take a miraculous, blessed break from the Texas heat. Southern Asia and India are where Pepino first grew and gracias a Dios that it made its way here where we now consider it our own.
This agua fresca recipe has hardly any sugar. The small amount of fresh lime serves to perk up the cucumber flavor so you really should not taste lime as a separate flavor. This ’cause we’re not making cucumber limeade here. (Don’t get me started on so-called “watermelon lemonade,” please).
Agua means “water.” If you keep this in mind you’ll steer clear of making cucumber juice or cucumber-flavored limeade. All aguas frescas are naturally flavored ice-cold water.
I’m glad to share this recipe. My amá would smile approvingly.
Recipe (makes 2 quarts)
2 cucumbers, about 8″long, peeled, chopped coarsely
2 quarts filtered water
2 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 small lime, skin and white pith removed
1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend on high
2. Keep it going until there are no small particles and the beverage is completely smooth. If there are some particles in it and you are a stickler like me, strain it through a fine mesh sieve.
Chill it for a couple of hours and serve with lots of ice.
PS: I, from time to time, add 2 ounces of Pimm’s #1 and salute my Great Britain friends.