This mango and orange aguas frescas is a cool and refreshing blend of mango, green tea, honey and lime over orange ice cubes that will have you craving more.
A few days ago I came back from lunch to find a text message asking if I was in the office. I replied that I was and within minutes one of the drivers knocked at my door and entered carrying two boxes. One contained Pakistani sweets and the other Pakistani mangoes, gifted by one of the staff who had returned from a short vacation a few days previously.
I had heard on numerous occasions my Indian and Pakistani colleagues extolling the virtues of some or other fruit or vegetable beloved to their cuisine, and none more so than mangoes. Indians will exhort the delights of Alphonso mangoes, a variety that is considered superior in terms of sweetness and flavor.
One of my Pakistani colleagues who entered smiled broadly when he saw the mangoes. He looked at the box and said ‘Mam, these are the best Pakistani mangoes.’ After distributing most of the box, I kept a few back wondering whether I would be inspired, and hoping that it would come by the time the mangoes were fully ripened.
I had considered a mango lassi, mango smoothie and even mango ice cream. In the end though I settled for Mango and orange aguas frescas, something so simple yet elegant in its simplicity.
Google translate will tell you that Agua fresca is Spanish for fresh water and that Aguas frescas is Spanish for cool waters. I much prefer the latter as it is a better indication of what the drink is… a cool and refreshing blend of iced water, fruit, sweetener like sugar or honey and lemon or lime.
I made a few changes to my version of an aguas frescas because the typical description makes me think of diluted fruit juice with added sugar, or horror of horrors, the Oros we were given as kids. As far as possible I try to limit adding sugar to food and drink (except cakes and desserts of course) and prefer to sweeten with honey or stevia, if required.
I love green tea and drink at least 6 cups per day, so instead of iced water I used iced green tea with hints of peach and apricot. I replaced the ice cubes with iced orange juice cubes and added just a touch of stevia and lime juice to counterbalance the flavors.
Mango and orange aguas frescas
- 250 ml ripe mangoes peeled and pitted and cut into chunks (approximately 1 cup)
- 500 ml iced green tea unsweetened (approximately 2 cups)
- 5 ml lime juice approximately 1 teaspoon
- 15 ml honey or stevia to taste approximately 1 tablespoon
- 125 ml orange juice made into ice cubes approximately 1/2 cup
- Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour into a glass filled with orange juice ice cubes.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint or a wedge of lime.
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