Agua de Melón (Cantaloupe Melon Agua Fresca)

Agua de melón, translated into English as cantaloupe melon agua fresca, is a refreshing Mexican drink made by blending fresh cantaloupe, water, and sugar. In my family, we drink it once cantaloupes are in season, and in Mexico, people enjoy it at mercados, festivals, fairs, and family gatherings.

Agua de Melon

Growing up in California, we always had an abundance of fruit trees in our backyard, so drinking fresh fruit juices and aguas was the norm for us. Perhaps this is why I have always loved the variety of aguas frescas available in Mexican restaurants and mercados. My parents weren’t really ones to serve us store-bought juices, and now I’m the same way with my children. Luckily for them, aguas frescas happen to be one of my specialties!

WHAT IS AGUA FRESCA?

Agua fresca literally translates to fresh, cold, or refreshing water, but literal translations do little to describe the true essence of these fruit-forward and fun drinks. This is true of the translation of melon water – this name just misses the mark!

These non-alcoholic beverages are typically made by blending water and sugar with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Some are also made with dry ingredients such as rice, tamarind pods, and hibiscus, which are Mexican pantry staples. 

According to the author and Mexican confections queen, Fany Gerson, aguas frescas have indigenous roots. “When Aztecs traveled from their farmlands to the markets in Tenochtitlan (what is now Mexico City), they would paddle through channels in the valley’s wetlands and mash some ripe fruit with water as a way to refresh themselves through the journey.”

Nowadays, aguas frescas are available just about everywhere in Mexico, from street-side food stands and ice cream shops in rural towns, to high-end restaurants in large cities. They are fresh, diversified, and vibrant and are part of daily life and culture in Mexico. They’re also perfect to drink during warm summer months.

Agua de Melón

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE

This agua de melon recipe has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my friend Ana’s wedding in Valle de Guadalupe. Everyone arrived a day early as we headed straight to eat crab burritos and drink agua de melon. It was such a perfect drink on that warm summer day and now I love making it at home, especially after reading about all of the health benefits of cantaloupes! Here are a few other reasons to love this recipe:

  • Easy to make: This delicious cantaloupe melon agua fresca takes about 10 minutes and two ingredients (plus water) to prepare!
  • Loaded with nutrients: Cantaloupes are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Versatile: Enjoy it as a drink, as the perfect base for fresh cocktails, or frozen into popsicles.

5 HEALTH BENEFITS OF CANTALOUPE FRUIT

  • High in vitamins: Cantaloupe is a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and vitamin A, essential for healthy vision and skin.
  • Hydration: With its high water content, cantaloupe helps keep you hydrated, especially on hot days.
  • Antioxidant properties: It contains antioxidants including beta-carotene, which may protect cells from damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Digestive health: The fiber in cantaloupe supports digestion and can help prevent constipation. Cheers to regular bowel movements!
  • Skin health: The vitamins and antioxidants in cantaloupe can contribute to healthy skin by promoting collagen production and protecting against UV damage.

CANTALOUPE AGUA FRESCA INGREDIENTS

  • Cantaloupe: I love when fresh cantaloupes are finally in season here in Colorado! 
  • Sweetener: I like to use pure cane sugar, simple syrup, agave, or dates to sweeten my aguas frescas.
  • Water: Agua fresca is supposed to be light in texture, like a juice. It’s not a nectar, which is why I use plenty of water to thin it out.

RECOMMENDED FOR THIS RECIPE

Vitamin Professional-Grade Blender

Jugo Verde

HOW TO MAKE MELON AGUA FRESCA

1. Prepare ingredients

  • Start by cutting the ripe cantaloupe it in half.
agua de melon cantaloupe agua fresca drink

2. Scoop out seeds

  • Next, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds (dry and save them to make your agua de horchata extra creamy).
agua de melon cantaloupe agua fresca drink

3. Peel and cut cantaloupe

  • Then, using a sharp knife, remove the skin from the cantaloupe and cut it into chunks so that it is easier to blend.
agua de melon cantaloupe agua fresca drink

4. Blend ingredients

  • Working in batches, process the cantaloupe, sugar, and 4 cups water on medium setting for 60 seconds.
agua de melon cantaloupe agua fresca drink

5. Strain ingredients

  • Strain the cantaloupe water mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a pitcher to remove any pulp. Stir in remaining 2 cups of water.
agua de melon cantaloupe agua fresca drink

6. Serve chilled and enjoy

  • Finally, refrigerate for at least one hour before serving or serve immediately over ice.
  • Garnish with a cantaloupe wedge, edible flowers, mint, or basil leaves, if desired.
Agua de Melón

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • For an additional boost of vitamin C, add fresh strawberries.
  • For a tart twist, add a squeeze of lime juice.
  • For a pop of color, add blueberries or blackberries when serving.

HOW TO STORE AGUA FRESCA

Store agua fresca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, ensuring it stays fresh and chilled. Ingredients tend to settle at the bottom, so remember to stir your agua fresca before serving.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the ingredients in agua fresca?

Aguas frescas are non-alcoholic drinks typically made by blending water and some sort of sweetener, typically sugar, with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Some are also made with dry ingredients such as rice, tamarind pods, and hibiscus.

LOOKING FOR MORE AGUA FRESCA RECIPES?

Agua de Melón

Agua de Melón (Cantaloupe Melon Agua Fresca)

by Lola Dweck
Agua de melón (cantaloupe agua fresca) is a refreshing Mexican drink made by blending fresh cantaloupe, water, and a sweetener of your choice. We drink it once cantaloupes are in season, and in Mexico, people enjoy it at mercados, festivals, fairs, and family gatherings.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 52 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups cantaloupe diced from about half of a cantaloupe
  • 6 cups water divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  • fresh mint or basil optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Blend cantaloupe, sugar (or sweetener of choice), and 4 cups water on medium setting for 60 seconds.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into large pitcher. You may need to agitate the mixture to let the concentrate through, avoid pushing through the pulp to keep juice light in consistency. Compost or discard pulp.
  • Stir in remaining 2 cups water.
  • Chill and serve over ice. Garnish with cantaloupe wedge, fresh edible flowers, mint, or basil leaves.

A Note from Lola

ON SWEETENERS
  • I prefer my aguas frescas to be only slightly sweetened, so feel free to adjust the level of sweetness to your liking or skip the sugar altogether. If you want it on the sweet side, the way most aguas frescas are served in Mexico, use 1/2 cup of sugar in this recipe.
  • My preferred natural sweeteners include pure cane sugar, simple syrup, agave, or dates. 
  • I love how in many parts of Oaxaca, vendors now make aguas frescas  with no sweeteners and have a pitcher of simple syrup to add it when requested.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ouncesCalories: 52kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.001gSodium: 27mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 2029IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.2mg
52
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Recipe originally published July 13, 2017 and updated with more clear instructions and photos on May 29, 2024.

Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love. This commission is an agreement between Lola’s Cocina and retailers, with no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site.Save

Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

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7 Comments

    1. Stephanie, you’re not going to believe this, but I JUST took the pictures for this recipe and haven’t uploaded them yet. Of course you can share! I’ll email you links to a few where I do have the pictures. Hope to see you at the WAG Summit this weekend!