There’s a small Mexican restaurant here in Miami where we go as a family to eat lunch on Sundays occasionally. Their menu offers the traditional Mexican food that anyone expects but they also offer a lot of unusual dishes and drinks. It’s really a treat because from the ones I’ve tried, they’re all so tasty!! Last time we went there for lunch, I noticed that they had added more drinks to their menu and Tamarind Agua Fresca or Agua Fresca de Tamarindo was one of them. It was refreshing and delicious!! I just had to learn how to make it at home:)Jump to Recipe
What Is Tamarind (Tamarindo)?
Tamarind is a fruit with pods which have seeds covered in pulp inside. The pulp is the eatable part of the fruit. I remember the first time that I tried a tamarind fruit, I compared the pulp part to a plum marmalade that we made back home. The pulp is thick and a little sticky. It is brown in color and it covers seeds inside.
Tamarind is indigenous to Africa so I found it surprising to see it be so popular in Central America. As the tree, fruits and other parts of tamarind have various uses this fruit is grown around the globe in the tropical areas. I bet you’ll see a lot more tamarind everywhere in a few years.
What Is Agua Fresca?
Agua Fresca means cool water in Spanish. It’s very common throughout Mexico but it’s also becoming popular in several other countries of Central America and lately in United States.
Agua frescas are a blend of fruits or seeds with water, ice, lime and sugar. As I was reading more about Agua Fresca I realized that the famous Horchata drink is also an agua fresca, I just didn’t know it before.
Agua frescas are most commonly found in Mexico sold from street vendors. I guess they are the modern version of lemonade:)
Tamarind Agua Fresca Recipe Notes
I assumed tamarind agua fresca would be difficult to make, but I was wrong. I asked the waitress at the restaurant where I first tried the drink. She knows us for over 7 years, she’s seen me pregnant with both kids. She knows what my kids like and brings guacamole & refried beans to the table just because she remembers that my kids love those 2 sides. She even taught me how to make refried beans at home. So I wondered if she had any tips about Tamarind Agua Fresca.
So the way she explained it to me is that you can make a tamarind paste or a tamarind blend depending on how much tamarind fruit you have. You prepare the paste when you have a large quantity of tamarind. Paste can be canned and refrigerated. Then you blend tamarind paste as needed with cold water, add ice and the desired sweetener to make tamarind agua fresca. Then serve it over ice.
When you have about 1 lb of tamarind or so, then you just boil it with water (after you peel it). See recipe below. Remove the seeds and let it cool. Then you blend with cold water, serve with ice as desired.
Tamarind Agua Fresca
- 1 lb tamarind
- ice (as needed)
- 16 cups water
- 0.5 cups sugar (optional – see notes below)
- Peel the fruits and place them in a pot. It might take you some time to peel them the first time, they're not the easiest fruit to peel, While peeling, remove the veins on both sides of the fruit as well.
- Cover them in water and turn heat to high, once the water boil, lower heat to medium and cover pot. Add half cup of sugar. Also note *** at bottom of recipe about sweeteners and sugar quantity.
- I let boil for about 20 minutes.
- Let the mix chill a bit. Get a pitcher and a metal strainer that fits well on the top of the pitcher. Start pouring the boiled fruits in. Water will pour through but fruits will remain on top. Start using a big spoon to smash the pulp of the tamarind fruits through the strainer. Repeat until you are done. Then fill the pitcher with cold water. Mix well and let it chill for at least 90 minutes on the refrigerator.
- Serve over ice. Garnish as desired.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to Pinterest. Thank you:)
Another food blogger, Patrice from one of my groups has a Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe.
Other Drinks Recipes From My Blog
- Bolivian Chuflay
- Pomegranate Raki Cocktail
- Mediterranean Mountain Tea
- Christmas Coconut Cocktail (Coquito)