the home cook

¡Hace Calor! (It's Hot!)

By Adriana Mojica / Photography By Ben Pancoast | Last Updated June 06, 2016
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Left to right: Lavender Limonada, Coconut Almond Horchata, Agua de Jamaica and Tamarindo 
(web exclusive recipe).

Cool down 
with refreshing 
aguas frescas

Spending time in the backyard with friends and family during the summer months is a popular pastime in 
nearly any culture. School is out, kids 
are everywhere and suddenly all of 
your family is calling to arrange a 
get-together.

While foods are definitely at the center of any gathering at my house, drinks shouldn’t be ignored. Specialty homemade drinks are a treat that is often underused at parties, in my experience. One thing that I love to share at summer parties are Mexican aguas frescas, freshly made drinks served over ice. Sometimes they 
are made with grains, other times 
with dried flowers, and very often 
with fruit.

The combinations are vast and there is always room to experiment. The next time you host, wow your guests by offering up an aguas frescas bar. Many of these drinks pair very well with rum or tequila if the occasion calls for an alcoholic drink.

Web exclusive: Agua de Tamarindo

Tamarind Pods are a legume that grow on the Tamarind tree. Inside this pod-like fruit are a number of large seeds and a sticky, tart pulp. Tamarind pods are readily found in bulk at Mexican markets or...

Coconut Almond Horchata

Horchata can be made with rice, almonds or oatmeal. Almost all horchata recipes call for cinnamon. I prefer to use cinnamon sticks versus the powder because the flavor tends to be stronger and there...

Lavender Limonada

In Mexico, lemons are rarely available for purchase at the fruit stands. There is always an abundance of limes, though. We don’t make lemonade at my house, we make limeade!

Agua de Jamaica

Traditional Agua de Jamaica is made by steeping hibiscus flowers and sweetening the tea with lots of sugar. I like to add fruit to make it more fun and flavorful. The fruit does add some sweetness, so...

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