Agua de piña y pepino is the perfect blend of pineapple and cucumber. Perfect for hot days, this pineapple and cucumber agua fresca will transport you to Mexico in just one sip!
Rarely are sequels as good as the originals but in the case of my Agua de Piña y Pepino, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Building upon my original Cucumber Agua Fresca recipe, I added pineapple, which works to enhance the flavor of an already delicious drink. The sweet piña and fresh adds just the right touch to the cool cucumber. I am confident that audiences across the board will agree that this sequel is worthy of an Oscar!
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Refreshing flavors: The sweet tanginess of pineapple merges with the crisp and refreshing essence of cucumber, creating a perfect balance that is both thirst-quenching and invigorating.
Hydration and nutritional boost: Stay hydrated while enjoying the natural goodness of fruits and vegetables. Pineapple provides vitamin C and manganese, while cucumber offers hydration and contributes to overall hydration.
Customizable: Easily customize this agua fresca de piña y pepino to suit individual preferences. You can adjust the sweetness, tanginess, and even experiment with additional flavors like lime or mint.
WHAT IS AGUA FRESCA?
Agua fresca is a traditional Mexican drink made with water, fresh fruits or vegetables, sugar, and sometimes herbs or spices. The ingredients are blended together to create a refreshing, fruity beverage that can be served over ice. Agua fresca comes in a variety of flavors, including watermelon, cucumber, hibiscus, and strawberry, to name a few. The “holy trinity” of aguas frescas includes agua fresca de jamaica, agua fresca de tamarindo, and horchata.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF AGUA FRESCA
The tradition of making agua fresca can be traced back to ancient civilizations in Mesoamerica, such as the Aztecs and Mayans, who created similar drinks using local ingredients. They would mix muddled fruits like guavas, pineapples, prickly pears, or melons, with water and sometimes add herbs or flowers for flavor and aroma.
After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, European influences introduced new ingredients like citrus fruits and sugarcane, which further enriched the variety of flavors in agua fresca. Over time, it became a popular and beloved beverage throughout Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
Today, agua fresca is appreciated not only in Mexico but also in various countries around the world. It is a versatile drink that can be found in street stalls, markets, and homes, as well as in restaurants and cafes that specialize in Mexican cuisine.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE AGUA DE PIÑA Y PEPINO
Pineapple: Ripe pineapples are naturally sweet, which means you can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe. If ripe pineapples aren’t available to you, frozen pineapple works as well.
Cucumber: Regular cucumbers work best in this recipe, but English or Persian are also acceptable substitutes, although you may have to adjust amount depending on their size.
Sweetener: Cane sugar or agave are my sweeteners of choice for this recipe.
Mint (optional): Mint adds additional flavor, and is optional.
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
To make agua de piña y pepino, you’ll need a few basic tools and equipment. Here are the essentials:
Blender or food processor: A blender or food processor is necessary to blend the fruits, herbs, or grains with water to create the base of the agua fresca. It helps achieve a smooth and well-incorporated mixture.
Knife and cutting board: These tools are required for slicing, dicing, and preparing the fruits, vegetables, or herbs that you’ll be using in your agua fresca. Choose a sharp knife and a stable cutting board for safe and efficient preparation.
Fine-mesh sieve or strainer with cheesecloth: A strainer or cheesecloth work to separate the liquid from any pulp, seeds, or solids. This helps achieve a smooth and refined texture for your agua fresca.
Pitcher or jug: After blending and straining the agua fresca, you’ll need a pitcher or jug to hold and store the prepared beverage. Choose a container with a lid or cover to keep it fresh and ready for serving.
Glasses or cups: To serve agua fresca, have glasses or cups available for pouring and enjoying the refreshing drink. Opt for clear glasses to showcase the vibrant colors of the beverage.
Wooden spoon: Always remember to stir your agua fresca before serving.
Ice cubes or ice trays: Agua fresca is meant to be served chilled, over ice. You can also freeze some of the agua fresca into ice cubes for an extra burst of flavor without diluting the drink.
Mexican apron: add a touch of style to your cooking endeavors with a beautifully embroidered apron made in Oaxaca.
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Blend: Working in batches, blend pineapple, cucumber, sugar, water.
Strain: Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher.
Serve: Chill, serve over ice, and garnish.
TIPS, TRICKS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Substitutions: If you don’t have fresh pineapples, you can use frozen pineapple chunks or even canned pineapple to make your agua fresca. Adjust the amount of water and sweetener accordingly to maintain the desired consistency and taste.
Make it creamy: If you prefer a creamy texture, you can blend the pineapple agua fresca with a splash of coconut milk or coconut cream. This addition will create a piña colada-like variation of the beverage.
Garnish creatively: When serving, garnish your pineapple agua fresca with pineapple wedges dipped in chile-lime salt, a sprig of mint, a pineapple leaf, a cucumber ribbon skewered on an appetizer toothpick, or even a sprinkle of chili salt on the rim of the glass. This adds visual appeal and enhances the overall experience.
HOW TO STORE
Aguas frescas are meant to be enjoyed fresh. If storing, consume within 2-3 days.
Refrigerate promptly: Transfer it to a clean, airtight container, such as a pitcher with a lid or glass bottles. Seal the container tightly to prevent any exposure to air. Keep refrigerated and consume within 2-3 days.
Stir before serving: Before serving, give the stored agua fresca a good stir to redistribute any settled pulp or ingredients. This will help ensure a consistent flavor and texture.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, if you prefer a naturally unsweetened beverage, you can omit the sweetener altogether in your pineapple cucumber agua fresca. The natural sweetness of the fruits can still provide a pleasant taste experience.
Yes, frozen pineapple or cucumber can be used to make pineapple cucumber agua fresca. Simply thaw the frozen fruits before blending them with water and other ingredients. Adjust the amount of water accordingly to achieve the desired consistency.
Yes, you can mix your pineapple cucumber agua fresca with sparkling water to add a fizzy element to the drink. This can create a refreshing and bubbly variation. Mix it to your preferred ratio of agua fresca to sparkling water.
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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.