Agua de pepino is a refreshing and light drink with a sweet and tangy flavor. It is also known as cucumber agua fresca because is made from fresh cucumbers, water, limes, and sugar, and has a pale green color.
Agua de pepino recipe belongs to the aguas frescas category which are Mexican soft drinks made with fruits, seeds, grains, or citrus. They are often sold at street vendors, restaurants, and markets throughout Mexico and Latin America.
Aguas frescas are also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world as a refreshing and healthy alternative to soda and other store-bought sugary drinks.
- Cucumbers. You can peel them or leave the skin on. Using cucumbers with the peel provides more nutrients and a deep green hue to the drink.
- Limes or lemons. Anything you have available, even though limes add a particular flavor to this fresca.
- Sugar. I am using regular sugar in this recipe, but you can substitute it with honey, stevia, coconut sugar, or agave syrup.
- Water. To dilute the drink.
How To Make Agua de Pepino
Wash thoroughly the cucumber under running cold water. Then peel them ad cut them into chunks so they will be easier to blend.
Top Tip: For an intense green hue you can add the cucumber with the peel on.
Add the chunks into a blender along with 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
Blend for 1-2 minutes at high speed or until you’ll have a nice smooth mixture.
Strain the mixture in a large pitcher or add it as it is. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and stir well to dissolve.
Pour 2 more cups of water, mix, and taste. If you think it needs more sugar, add more and taste again until it reaches your desired sweetness.
Place the pitcher in the fridge and chill for 2 hours or serve immediately over ice.
Garnish with a few mint leaves and sliced cucumber if you want and enjoy!
- Don’t discard the cucumber seeds, they’re rich in minerals and fiber.
- Use water at room temperature because it will be easier to dissolve the sugar.
- If you use bio cucumbers, don’t peel them. The skin add more nutrients and also a nice greener color.
- Make it sugar-free by leaving out the sugar, or subbing it with monk fruit or stevia.
- Do not add ice to the pitcher unless you drinking the cucumber water within 10 minutes, ice will melt and dilute the drink making it flavorless. The best thing to do is add the ice to a glass and serve what you intend to drink.
- Chia seeds. Chia is a nice source of vitamins and adds a nice texture to this drink.
- Herbs. Besides mint, try also basil, alfalfa (blended with cucumbers), or thyme. Those fresh herbs add a nice flavor and aroma.
- Fruits. Mix some fruits like kiwi, pineapple, watermelon, or mango for a nice tropical punch.
Foods To Pair With Cucumber Agua Fresca
Cucumber agua fresca is a refreshing drink that pairs well with a variety of foods. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with it:
- Guacamole and chips: The light and refreshing taste of this drink complements the rich and creamy flavor of guacamole. Serve with totopos tortilla chips for a delicious snack.
- Tacos: The drink is a great accompaniment to spicy and savory tacos. Try pairing it with cochinita pibil tacos or tacos de bistec.
- Seafood: The citrusy and tangy flavors of ceviche de pescado or the creaminess on this camarones con crema chipotle pair well with this cucumber drink.
How To Store
Agua fresca de pepino can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To store, first, transfer it to an airtight container or pitcher. Then, refrigerate it as soon as possible to keep it fresh.
If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it. Pour the drink into ice cube trays or freezer-safe containers and freeze it. When you’re ready to drink it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature and serve. Note that the texture may change slightly after freezing, but the flavor should remain the same.
It’s important to note that because this drink contains fresh ingredients, it is best to consume it within a few days for the best taste and quality. If it develops an off taste or odor, it’s best to discard it.
Is this recipe healthy?
Agua de pepino can be a healthy drink option when made with natural ingredients and in moderation. Cucumbers are low in calories and high in nutrients such as vitamins C and K, potassium, and fiber. Lime juice is also a good source of vitamin C.
To make this recipe healthier, you can use natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar instead of refined sugar. You can also reduce the amount of sweetener used or skip it altogether if the natural sweetness of the cucumbers is enough.
Can I make it ahead?
If you want to make it ahead of time for a party or event, it’s best to prepare it the day before or the morning of the event to ensure maximum freshness. Before serving, stir the cucumber fresca well and taste to make sure the flavors are still balanced.
More Aguas Frescas Recipes
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Agua de Pepino (cucumber agua fresca)
- 2 medium cucumbers (peeled and cut into chunks)
- 6 cups water (room temperature)
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ⅓ cup sugar (or more, to taste)
- ice cubes
- cucumber slices
- Place cucumbers, lime juice and 2 cups of water on a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Strain mixture in a large pitcher.
- Add sugar and stir well to combine.
- Add the remaining water and mix. Adjust with more sugar if needed.
- Serve in glasses with ice or place the pitcher in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.
- Garnish with cucumber slices and enjoy.
- I used about 1/3 cup of sugar, but feel free to use more or also less if you want.
- Don’t discard the cucumber’s seeds, they’re rich in minerals and fiber!
- Use water at room temperature to easily dissolve the sugar.
- If you use bio cucumbers, don’t peel them! they add more nutrients and also a nice greener color.
*Music in video credits: Retro by Wayne Jones Music.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.