Naranjada (Sparkling Orange Agua Fresca)

naranjada is a carbonated agua fresca made with freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, and mineral or sparkling water. While a handful of aguas frescas have made their way to drink menus this side of the border, I’ve only tasted a naranjada in Mexico. It’s bright, refreshing, and extremely easy to make at home as long as you have fresh oranges and a little bubbly (water, that is).

Naranjada

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • High in vitamin C: since I use fresh squeezed orange juice for this authentic agua fresca recipe, it’s loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C.
  • No artificial sweeteners: you can leave out the sweeteners altogether or use homemade simple syrup made with pure cane sugar.
  • Sparkling twist: while traditional aguas frescas are typically still (non-carbonated), naranjadas incorporate sparkling water, adding a lively effervescence to the drink.

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.

Aguas frescas are non alcoholic beverages 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. While wildly popular in Mexico, aguas frescas are still relatively unknown in the U.S.

Aguas Frescas in Mexico

WHAT IS A NARANJADA?

Not to be confused with agua de naranja, a naranjada is a type of agua fresca made with freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, and sparkling or mineral water. Agua de naranja, on the other hand, is made with still water.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • A naranjada, which is made with fresh orange juice and is sometimes referred to as orangeade, sparkling orange agua fresca, or naranajada preparada, is served with mineral water in Mexico.
  • Limondada, which is made with limes and is sometimes referred to as limeade, is also served with mineral water.
  • Agua de naranja and agua de limón are made with still water.
  • So when asked, “¿con agua natural o agua mineral?” be sure to know the difference. Asking for agua natural in your agua fresca means it will be made with still water, while requesting agua mineral will mean it will be fizzy because it’s made with mineral water.
naranjada

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

  • Oranges: Valencia oranges are great for juicing, but any variety will work.
  • Mineral water: I like to use Jarritos or Topo Chico, both Mexican brands, for a truly Mexican drink experience, but any mineral water will work. Sparkling water will also work in this recipe.
  • Simple syrup: Make your own simple syrup by boiling one cup of water with one cup sugar until it is completely dissolved. You can also just use granulated sugar as your sweetener for this recipe.
Naranjada

RECOMMENDED FOR THIS RECIPE

Manual Citrus Press

Naranjada Recipe

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

1. Prepare orange juice

  • Cut oranges in half using a citrus press, extract juice.
Naranjada

2. Mix ingredients

  • Fill glasses halfway with ice, mix in a 1:2 ratio with one part freshly squeezed orange juice to two parts mineral water (example: you would mix 4 ounces of orange juice with 8 ounces of mineral water). Mix it with the mineral or sparkling water just before serving to preserve the fizziness of the drink.
  • Add simple syrup (or your sweetener of choice), to taste. Start with one tablespoon at a time until drink reaches desired sweetness.
Naranjada

3. Serve and enjoy

  • Serve and enjoy immediately.
Naranjada

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • Use your favorite sweetener. I make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar, but you can use regular sugar, honey, agave, or your sweetener of choice to make this recipe. Be sure to try this sparkling orange agua fresca recipe without sweeteners first – you might just like it, as-is!
  • Try it with different citrus fruits. Tangerines, cara cara oranges, or blood oranges will be delicious in this recipe as well.
  • Add a tropical twist. Mix in pineapple and coconut water for a fun new fusion.

HOW TO STORE

Aguas frescas are best served as soon as you make them – especially this one because it’s made with mineral or sparkling water and you want it to stay fizzy. You can store your fresh orange juice and simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator and mix in the bubbly water just before serving.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you pronounce naranjada?

Naranjada is pronounced “nah-rahn-HAH-dah” with the stress on the second syllable.

Can I use bottled orange juice instead of freshly squeezed?

I prefer fresh squeezed orange juice, but if you’re pressed for time or making this to serve a large group, choose a high-quality, 100% pure orange juice without added sugars or preservatives, like Natalie’s Orange Juice.

Is a naranjada the same as an orange soda?

No, a naranjada is not the same as orange soda. While both beverages contain orange flavor, naranjadas are made with freshly squeezed orange juice and sparkling water, resulting in a lighter and more natural taste compared to the artificial flavor of orange soda.

Is a naranjada served with ice?

Yes, naranjadas and aguas frescas in general, are always served chilled and with ice.

LOOKING FOR MORE AGUA FRESCA INSPIRATION?

Naranjada (Sparkling Orange Agua Fresca)

Naranjada (Sparkling Orange Agua Fresca)

by Lola Dweck
A naranjada is a fizzy agua fresca made with freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar, and mineral or sparkling water.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 38 kcal

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Citrus press
  • Measuring cups
  • Pitcher
  • Glasses for serving

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces orange juice freshly squeezed, from about 4-6 oranges
  • 24 ounces mineral water or sparkling water
  • simple syrup to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut each orange in half, and then extract the juice. Be sure to remove any seeds.
  • Fill glasses halfway with ice, mix in a 1:2 ratio with one part freshly squeezed orange juice to two parts mineral water. For example, you would mix 4 ounces of orange juice with about 8-9 ounces of mineral water. To preserve the fizziness of this drink, mix it with the mineral or sparkling water just before serving.
  • Add simple syrup (or your sweetener of choice), to taste. Start with one tablespoon at a time until drink reaches desired sweetness.
  • Mix well and enjoy immediately.

A Note from Lola

Please keep in mind that the nutritional content (sugar, specifically) may vary based on the amount of simple syrup or sweetener you use to sweeten your naranjada. Try it without sugar first, you may like it as-is!

Nutrition

Serving: 9ouncesCalories: 38kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 170mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 170IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 0.2mg
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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, at no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site. 

Photography and Styling: Cacey McReavy (images 1, 6 and 7 only)

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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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe reminds me of the Mexican version of an arangiata. I love it with just the juice and sparkling water!

  2. 5 stars
    I like the fact that you can have your flavored water at home that is natural and healthy vs a bunch artificially sweetened drinks
    Thank you for your posts they help me a lot with my family meals

  3. 5 stars
    Very refreshing! Perfect for a hot summer day. I need to make my grandma this! Do you think this could be made with tangerines?