melon agua fresca

I have a confession to make: this heat is kicking my butt. I know how earth-shattering this must sound: A 35-week pregnant woman is being done in by a streak of 95-degree muggy days in a city that requires walking, stair-climbing and waiting endlessly for trains on airless, timeless subway platforms? You don’t say!

But my confession is really about it being bad enough for me admit it, awful enough for me to break my own rules about what I will and will not complain about: Arugula that goes bad the day after you buy it? Fair game! The weather, and how it is hot, very hot? Nope! There is no more banal topic of conversation than the air out there, so let me attempt to stop this whining in its tracks. Also not up for discussion? How long 12 blocks feels when you’re carrying a watermelon. The oven, or any oven. Sautéing. Boiling things. Eating food that is in any way heated. The sixteen things I’d like to do with the eggplants and tomatoes I’ve hauled in from the markets this week, as they all require proximity to a lit stove, and that, my friends, is also not going to cut it.


Instead, let’s talk about a good and established way to cool down — I mean, besides sticking your head in the freezer, though lord knows I’ve done plenty of that this week — and it goes by the name of agua fresca, or “fresh water”. These drinks are made from any combination of fruits or herbs, water and sugar, and always served icy cold. There’s so much to like about them: they’re gorgeously hued, but mildly flavored. They’ve got none of the syrupy sweetness of bottled fruit juices, tasting instead like the sippable fruits that they are. A good one will taste like you managed to liquefy a piece of fruit without altering it one bit, and a great one will make you forget, even temporarily, exactly how much steam is coming off the sidewalks downstairs.

lime juice

And although there are enough ingenious agua fresca combinations out there to keep you sipping through Thanksgiving — pineapple-ginger, strawberry watermelon or cucumber mint, anyone? — this melon version is my current favorite, as it extracts both the pretty color and mellow flavor from cantaloupes and honeydews and siphons them into your glass. It couldn’t be more perfect for days like today, when it feels too hot to eat anything that must be lifted with a fork.

melon agua fresca

One year ago: Dimply Plum Cake

Melon Agua Fresca [Melon Coolers]
Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009

Makes 8 drinks in 10-ounce glasses

1 (4-pound*) cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
1 1/2 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar (optional, I skipped this)
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 quart chilled club soda or seltzer

Garnish: lime wedges or melon slices

Purée melon in batches with water in a blender or food processor, however, if you use the latter be extra careful as the food processor does not excel in handling large amounts of liquid.

Transfer to a colander lined with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) or fine cheesecloth set over a deep bowl and let drain about one hour. Gather ends of towel and very gently squeeze any remaining juice from melon, then discard solids. Stir in lime juice, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt and chill for another hour.

Divide among 8 (10-ounces) glasses and top off with club soda. Or vodka. Look, I know some of you are going to anyway; just don’t forget to share.

Do ahead: Drinks, without club soda, can be made 4 days ahead and chilled. Add soda just before serving.

* My cantaloupe weighed 2 pounds, my honeydew weighed 7 1/2. I suppose that perfect four-pound melon specimens exist, just certainly not where I shop!

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133 comments on melon agua fresca

  1. Kristin

    Oh, I want this. I’m 30 weeks preg in Dallas, TX where steaming heat is the summertime norm. But I do not have to do all the walking and public transport that you do and for once I am so grateful. The heat alone is enough. I *need* this drink–right now! Take care and best wishes.

  2. While maybe not agua fresca per se, lemonade and pastries (pumpkin empanadas!) from the bolillo bakery down the street from my work were pregnancy staples for me two years (already!) ago. Though perhaps I would have fared better with your version–lemonade and pregnancy? Hello, heartburn. (It was all worth it,though. Now I have an excuse to make a 12-layer birthday cake next weekend.)

    And I must say, I feel you on the heat. I used to bus it in the 115 Phoenix heat during my 38 long weeks of pregnancy. And did I complain? You bet my huge preggo ass I did. (Though these days it’s more about blackberries, rather than arugula, that went bad the day after I bought them. How am I supposed to make a buttermilk cake now?)

  3. We are on the same page today! I love it! I just posted a simple recipe from the garden for Lemon-Mint Sun Tea as part of a series on cool summer refreshments straight from the potager. This looks so good, I will have to link to it on the next installment! What a delicious way to keep cool… your site is always a visual delight filled with great ideas. Thank you so much and Stay cool!

  4. Susan

    I love..LOVE, aqua fresca. I make (not too sweet) fresh lemon or ( my favorite) lime~ade then add about 1/3 glass of the fruit-ade to a glass of ice and fill with water. I like it well diluted so it doesn’t overpower with flavor keeping it more thirst quenching. I agree about the mint..when I have it, I’ll muddle a stalk in it too. It’s so refreshing. Anytime. I haven’t tried melon yet. Thanks for the method, Deb.

  5. I don’t think you’re whining! It’s been hot as blue blazes here in the Boston area! I deliver flowers and thought I might very well DIE out there this last week.

    This beverage looks like a sure fire cure for life in what feels like the TROPICS!

  6. Celeste

    I would love to try this with mango!

    Sorry you are so very uncomfy right now and wishing you cool relief any way you can find it.

  7. Steve

    OK, so this is cheating, but it is also a great way to do agua fresca. I put maybe 5 ice cubes in a glass. You don’t need many since the remaining ingredients are chilled. You are keeping it cold rather then getting it cold. I fill the glass halfway with chilled club soda. Then I fill the remaining space with chilled cranberry juice. Very simple. Very awesome.

    1. deb

      Juicer questions: I don’t own one but I definitely think it would work. Not sure if they remove all of the pulp, but if they don’t, just strain it as the recipe suggests.

  8. My mum was pregnant with my twin sisters in 90+ degree heat and 90% humidity in Singapore, so I can just imagine you’re feeling about the same amt of aggravation! I’m having ppl over this weekend so perhaps I’ll serve some of this up so we can all cool down :)

  9. Just made these and the juice is draining. I bought a bunch of melon on sale and this was a great use of some of it. I’ll let you know how it goes. I just love melon!

  10. You are sooooooo allowed to complain.
    These look so very elegant and downright vintage! I’m impressed that despite your discomfort you are still making beautiful things.

  11. There’s a taqueria in San Francisco that my mom used to take me to as a treat when I was growing up. Although the tacos were delicious, it was always the agua frescas that I looked forward to. Yours are much more beautiful than theirs though, I’m feeling compelled to give them a try! And please, this heat is insane. And I also feel that the topic is banal, but really, it is horrid.

  12. Oh this sounds perfect for the cantelope I haven’t gotten around to eating. Question though: I bought my cantelope about a week ago, and figured it would be ripe by now, only it’s not. Is that because I put it in the fridge right away rather than letting it ripen on the counter and then putting it in the fridge? And is it ok to use a rather firm cantelope for this recipe as opposed to perfectly ripe?

  13. I am picking up my CSA today and I just got the email that there are going to be melons in it! This will be the perfect use – after enjoying your watermelon lemonade all last week, I can’t wait to spend the weekend drinking melon agua fresca. Thanks, Deb, and good luck in the heat – I can barely stand it in the city and can’t even imagine how much more oppressing it would be were I pregnant!

  14. Linda

    hi there sk!
    omg this sounds wonderful & so refreshing…wanted to create your espresso chiffon cake with fudge frosting today but, the thought of the hot oven combined with the heat /humdity gave off negative vibes…so…
    off to the market to buy the melons!! :)

  15. Jen

    This sounds great. Just curious, have you considered how it would work with a juicer? I have a juicer, which already contains a filtering part inside the machine. Maybe juice the melons and then add the rest of the ingredients? I’m thinking the juicer might not turn as clear liquid since the filter is not as fine.

  16. Marie

    I second your comment about walking with a watermelon. It seemed like such a good idea at the time to buy a 10 lb watermelon along with my 10 other pounds of groceries. Not so much on the almost 2 mile walk back to my apartment in the sweltering noon-day heat.

    The aqua fresca looks so refreshing. I want it in my belly now! I guess I’ll be buying more melons on my next trip to the farmers’ market!

  17. Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm. Glad you’re finding ways to stay cool. As someone who has given birth in the months of July, August and September with no AC in our home, I can say I feel your pain…and I’m glad that it’s my summer off.

    The drinks look amazing, and I can’t wait to try them, especially the honeydew. I love the green color.

  18. What a great idea! I’m always looking for alternatives to plain water or that weeeeeeird fake lime sparkly stuff.. Thanks for the recipe, this is great!

  19. Looks beautiful. And refreshing! I just did a strawberry agua fresca that I can’t get enough of. I blogged about it a couple weeks ago, if you’re interested in checking it out. I’d never had aguas frescas before and I’m hooked. I’ve tried at least 4 different ones in the past two weeks or so. Yum!

  20. Am I going to be shot if I admit I am actually a little jealous when I read about the summer heat? Right now it is overcast, 57 degrees, and threatening to drizzle in downtown SF. sometimes I want a real summer!

  21. D

    Man, the honey dew looks so good! I tried the cucumber and mint you mentioned from Furey and the Feast….that one was REALLY good!

  22. A couple things:

    1. At 35 weeks pregnant in August, for God’s sake, please complain about whatEVER you want. I gave birth one year ago next week, and by the end, anyone was susceptible to my wrath. You can never get away with this again. It’s sort of a beautiful thing.

    2. I never thought a photo could appear drinkable until now. Gorgeous!

    3. Your last comment about the varying size of fruits totally debunks the ridiculous habit of pregnancy websites to compare your ever-growing offspring to produce.

    Hang in there! You will be free to add cachaca to your agua fresca in no time.

  23. Eve

    This is such a fabulous idea!! I can only imagine how hard the heat is on you right now. I am having trouble myself commuting on the NYC subway lines…if I were in your place I would be taking taxis :)

  24. fyrebelley

    I am all about this! I am only 14 weeks pregnant, but in St. Louis. My go to drink has been “sparkle juice”, 3 oz. grapefruit juice, 1 ounce cranberry juice, and about 5 oz. club soda over ice. I was in NYC this past weekend, it was unbelievably hot. We ate a restaurant called Cafeteria, which was really delicious, but will be much better when it cools off there.

  25. moonmarked

    It’s strange that Gourmet would call this aguas frescas, as that is a specific drink that difers from this recipe–a great recipe, nonetheless. In my experience (I am from the spanish-speaking Americas), aguas frescas do not use carbonated water–those are called aguas gaseosas, just in case you ever try to order such in a spanish-speaking restaurant or country….

    Also, when we make these we only mash by hand or blend enough water with the fruit to make it broken apart and liquidy and then add the extra water. So those without blenders, food processors, or juicers should know that these drink have been made for at least a hundred years by hand, as I still do here in Brooklyn. Not as quick to make, but sometimes when it’s not too hot, or even when it is, it just feels right to slow life down with some hand work before relaxing with a cool drink. Bruising herbs like mint also releases a different flavor than what happend when it is shredded ina blender.If the fruit is just at the edge of being too ripe it is tender and easy to smash up (I love the sale fruit for just this reason…)

    If you want to strain out the pulp/fiber, do so with the small amount of blended fruit, before adding water as it will go more quickly. We don’t usually strain out the fruit fiber, however, as that is what makes the drink nutritious. And adding alcohol, imo, takes away the wonderful thin and watery elements of the drink that makes it so refreshing.

  26. Jean Marie

    I hear you about this awful heat and I’m not pregnant! The humidity is so high, it feels like a sauna outside. Miserable – and perfect for a frosty delicious fruity drink. Now, we just need to get a melon. I have a pot of ratatouille going with CSA box bounty. Thank God for air conditioning – and freezers to stick our heads in!

  27. (moonmarked: yes, but not including the booze takes away the delicious booziness that makes summer bearable. para gustos, colores.)

    My Q: Isn’t there anything that can be done with the fruit pulp?

  28. Have not been pregnant in 27 (+/-?) years, but the heat is still kicking me. Not too far from NYC, north of Philly. Tried and failed to keep the AC off these past 2 days. I love this site. Hope you are healthy and well and looking forward always to the next update.

  29. Rebecca

    Oh my, I could have used this recipe LAST week when the ‘heat wave’ you are experiencing in New York was baking us all here in the Midwest. :) Don’t fret… the rain we’ve had this week is on its way to you to cool things down a bit.

  30. We could use some refreshment too here in Texas! I saw agua fresca on Matt Bites a while ago, but totally forgot I wanted to make them, and now, here they are. I will try these for sure… tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Hello there. Love your site. And can’t wait to try this latest recipe. I think my girls will love love love it. I wanted to also say hello. A friend from a past life of yours -Jasmine Narula – said to contact you. I would love some advice moving forward as I develop my own food blog (Indian). And I’d love to just connect with you. Just let me know the best way! Thanks so much in advance. I wish I had the energy to try making this drink right now. Yum! -Anupy

  32. I remember drinking these when I was a little girl, my Mom always left the pulp in when she made them, she also made the agua fresca using pineapple, and I remember a red drink made with dried red flowers (hibiscus??? maybe???) and a drink call horchata that is made with rice. I haven’t thought of aguas frescas in years, our local farmer’s market is overflowing with melons right now – I’m heading there early Saturday morning to snag some melons and blend away. Thank you for the gorgeous photos and for reviving a memory of one of my Mom’s favorite drinks.

  33. I made this today with a 2-pound melon. The recipe says to mix in some water or club soda before serving but doesn’t say how much. My melon made a mere 16 oz — which suggests that the amount of soda would be another 24 oz (one part melon-squeezins and two parts soda? Does that seem right?

    1. deb

      Moe — You should add the club soda to taste. The quart is recommended because it is a standard size bottle, I assumed. I liked mine with a 50/50 mix of juice and seltzer.

  34. Vidya

    Huh. And I thought I was the only person who stuck their head in the freezer. Maybe I’m not so insane after all. It’s weird weather here in Sydney today too…dark and grey, but humid and muggy at the same time. Gross.

  35. Lauren

    Can’t believe no-one’s said this yet….”you carried a watermelon??!”…

    Not only is this a delicious-looking recipe, but it’s pretty much referenced Patrick Swayze!!

  36. These look so refreshing and cool. Thanks for sharing. You are a food photography whiz by the way!! Everything looks so beautiful, almost too gorgeous to eat, well, I did say almost….. Hang in there, you are almost there(I went through three preggers within the heat of three summers=no fun–but you can do it!!! )

  37. This is a great idea. I knew I should have bought that honeydew melon at the store the other day. Can’t wait to try it!

    And, I’ve never been pregnant, but I can only imagine what you are going through in this heat. So let it all out, I feel better when I do! :)

  38. Oh, bummer. I made this yesterday, right after I saw the post — muscatine melons are in season right now! Sadly, the finished product tasted like Pedialyte. :-(

    I’d want to try it again without the salt, but I think my family has been turned off for life by the taste. Oh, well

  39. Deb, I had one of my kids on August 29th so I can totally relate to the pregnant summer feeling! I came home from work each evening (and that’s when we used to wear panty hose to work, no less!) and lay under a fan for an hour before I could even tackle dinner. Fortunately, all of the summer harvest makes for great quick and cool summer dinners, so take it easy!

  40. Tiny Kitchen

    A similar concept ran in the NY Times Magazine a couple of weeks ago, using watermelon and both lemon and lime juice. I guess aqua fresca is on everyone’s minds these days! Watermelon has such a high water content, it blends very quickly and only needs to be passed through a fine-mesh sieve – no cheese cloth required. Also, instead of granulated sugar I used simple syrup. Easier to blend. So delicious and refreshing!

    Moe — on the juice to soda ratio, I think a 2/3 juice, 1/3 soda ratio is about perfect, but it’s all up to your taste buds.

  41. Deborah

    Oh, I can’t wait to try this! Maybe later today that’s supposed to be 102. A favorite Cal-Mex restaurant in San Jose, CA where my husband was working, occasionally made this. They only had the canteloupe once when I was there, and it just drove me crazy wanting to be able to recreate it. So – THANKS so much for posting this, and may all go well with the rest of your pregnancy!

  42. Nan

    Just when I thought I was going to melt from our heat, it cooled down, rained, and now we’re back in the soup of Seattle…35 weeks? Wow, you’re in the home STRETCH!! Good luck to you – while you’re in L&D we’ll be sipping these fabulous looking drinks – toasting you, of course! xo, Nan

  43. Katya

    You poor baby. Sending you cooling thoughts from upstate NY :o) where my veggie garden is producing those exact same veggies as you just got. Eagerly awaiting the results of your never ending creativity (so I can copy you because I’m running out of ideas for zukes, eggplants and tomatoes). Any ideas for the gazillion beets I have to condend with?

  44. EllaElise

    Can i substitute sugar with agave nectar instead. this sounds delicious and thirst quenching – just perfect for summer days!

  45. KGS

    This looks delicious– I’m in Phoenix suffering from a similar reluctance to approach a stove. A few days ago we tried the tomato and peach gazpacho from the September 2005 issue of Gourmet, and it was fabulous for similar reasons; fresh produce-y goodness, and not a heat source in sight!

  46. Oh yum!

    I’m having mudslides sometime this weekend, but I will probably add this to the list. It has been humid in Boston and I will enjoy this as a pick me up after my long training run!

  47. Kate

    The photos are lovely. Please say it wasn’t you perched upon a chair taking the downward view! Perfect heat beating timing. Thanks!

  48. Erin in AK

    I know many of you are struggling with the heat…but here in Fairbanks, AK we’re looking toward winter. We had our first solid frost two nights ago, and on the way to work Thursday morning, it was 28 degrees. However, despite the chill in the air, and impending thoughts of hot cocoa, I think these drinks look like art on ice. Absolutely lovely. My CSA box from Full Circle Farm will have melons…and some will be enjoyed this way.

    Best of luck on the last few weeks of pregnancy…it is a challenging time. Whine all you’d like!

  49. One of the (many) things I miss about San Antonio is the big glass jars of aguas frescas in all different flavors (and colors!) you find in every taqueria all summer long. Just looking at them makes you cooler!

  50. ingrid

    sounds refreshing. whenever i get the melons not sweet enough, i soak the seeds in a strainer and let the water seep then shred the melon meat or use a melon baller to scoop out the meat. a sprig of mint will make it a more refreshing drink.

  51. Hey, at least you HAVE an oven…my dorm room does not, and my Orientation Leader (basically someone we’re supposed to ask all our questions to) doesn’t know where I might find one I can use. Maybe the cafeteria ladies will let me use their ovens? Doubt it…

  52. Stephanie

    That about sums up what my diet consists of right now! I’m 34 weeks pregnant and dealing with 100+ degrees of sweltering heat in California which is completely foreign to me as we used to live on the water and 80 degrees was hot…HAAAA!

    Anything fruity or citrus to drink is my new best friend….YUMMM!!

  53. cybercita

    i’ve been living on something even simpler: the juice of a lime, some sugar, some water, and some ice. turn on blender to ice crush. pour into glass. there have been a few days when that’s all i’ve been able to ingest. it’s hot here in NYC!

  54. SaraW

    A tip for keeping cool gleaned from watching “Survivorman”: put a cool cloth around the front of your neck so it covers the carotid artery on each side. Because the artery is so close to your skin there, putting something cold on it cools the blood as it circulates through your body, bringing your overall body temperature down. I bought one of those gel cold packs a couple of years ago after a bad ankle sprain, so that’s what I used the other day when it got really bad around here. It seemed to help quite a bit.

  55. Rennie

    Just made the cantaloupe version- it’s so refreshing! My cantaloupe wasn’t very sweet, so I a drizzle of agave nectar. Thanks for posting the perfect summer drink!

  56. I am waking up to fifty degrees in August – which is odd – but the drink sounds simply grand as the melons are in and ripe and perfect! Will try even if I do not have to “beat the heat.” When I lived in NYC, we called those days the “three showers day.”

  57. $%#@!!!

    I made the melon agua fresca and just dropped the pitcher, which broke. I didn’t get to taste it (but the dog did) -and- I had to clean up a sticky melony mess. $%#@! $%#@! $%#@!!!

  58. OMG, I am not pregnant, and it is not even hot right now in Chicago, but if a grocery store within walking distance were open at 1:30 in the morning I would make that right this second.

  59. These look sublime! I saw a similar recipe this past week in our Dutch daily newspaper: a pomegranate cooler with basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar- it chilled him right down to his toes, the columnist claimed..:-)

  60. Gigi

    Sound delicious but I couldn’t help notice that it looks like you are using your juicer the wrong way… correct me if i’m wrong.

    The lemon/lime half is meant to face down so the juice comes out the little holes and the fruit is turned inside-out… A little confusing – I had to be told how exactly they work too.

  61. Jackie

    Hi Deb,

    Let me first say that I LOVE reading your blog and looking at all the pretty pictures!

    This post reminded me of home. In Manila, it’s common to see sidewalk vendors have a big container of something similar. Our version of melon agua fresca is a bit more simple. We just take this large zester(? i’m not sure if it IS a zester) that makes large strips with the melon. We put all that melon meat strips into a pitcher with simply water and sugar, and sometimes put a little banana extract for extra flavor. It is sooo cooling in the Philippine heat and is one of my favorite drinks! I also love that the melon is still in the drink for a little snack. haha

    ps. So i tried looking for what that zester looked like, and I chanced upon an actual blog post about our version of melon agua fresca! The tool is shown in one of the pictures. I hope the author doesn’t mind me linking to her site..

  62. moonmarked

    A friend just noted that while the instructions say that you can make this drink four days ahead, it really does taste best made the same day. Four days is quite a bit of time for something noted for being “fresh” tasting. Perhaps a typo in the original Gourmet recipe?

  63. I live in Tennessee where we have summer about 6 months out of the year. This looks like the perfect refresher, and I LOVE that you’ve added a pinch of salt (On of my favorite drinks is the salty dog, with grapefruit juice and a salt rim.)

    The “too hot to cook” complaint is exactly why I started looking for non-gloppy things to make in the slow cooker (at Crock Tease), but there are some day when it’s too hot even to feel the steam off a crock-pot.

  64. Ahhhh! You are 35 weeks pregnant? And in the dead heat of the summer! You have free reign to complain about anything and everything in that case!!

    This looks beyond amazing. I am hosting a baby shower coming up and this would be so perfect for one of the beverage items. I can’t wait to try it!

  65. Gabe

    Used this recipe to cater my fiance’s graduation party and impressed my future in-laws. Love the simplicity and thank you for the idea.

  66. Marie M.

    Your drinks look so refreshing. Whenever I want an aqua-fresca I head down to the Mission to a favorite Mexican restaurant. I tried their watermelon once, but the drink I always return to is their rice/almond/cinnamon horchata. If you haven’t tried horchata yet, I highly recommend it. If you want to make it just Google “horchata recipes”. Different, refreshing, cooling. So sorry the heat is making you miserable. Wish we could send some of our cold air — we’re freezing here in San Francisco. (It hasn’t gotten above 59 degrees in weeks. Brrrr.)

    Love those cupcakes — the frosting reminds me of little smurf hats.

  67. Sounds good, and I don’t even like melons!

    I’ve stuck my head in the freezer this week, too. I also like to go out in my pantry (65º) and close the door. This week it smells like ripe peaches and ripe pears, considering there are several hundred pounds sitting in there, all waiting for me to can them. It was 107º today, and my kitchen is going to be hot tonight as I can baby food for my baby (I’m not due until February, though), as well as peach and pear nectars, and regular peaches and pears.

    I might like honeydew with club soda!

    But I’m not buying anymore fruit until these are all canned!

  68. Claudia

    I wished I’ve seen this blog before since it’s winter time for most. But in Mexico we always drink “agua fresca”, please eat the sweet juicy melon and save the seeds, put them in a blender with enough water and blend for about two minutes then force them through a sieve and mix with sweetened water voila!!! you have “agua de melon” that tastes the same and you can eat your melon for breakfast.

  69. This is just as appropriate a year later. Although it’s taboo to complain about the heat in Reno… it’s 97 today, but it’s always hot… I decided to move here knowing that, right? :)

    I spooned my honeydew in chunks into the blender only to plug the blender in and find it not working. Not to worry… I used my electric hand mixer. It’s still a little chunky and it kept splashing me so I threw it in the strainer and I think I’ll re-mix the chunks that are left over to make sure I get the most of that delicious juice. Improvise!! Thanks again for what I’m sure will be a great recipe.

  70. Laura

    I made this with the 6 pound (!) cantaloupe I got from my CSA this week, and it was delicious and refreshing this afternoon. I even added some gin to it this evening for a little bit of a summer night cap. The herbal gin mixed nicely with the fruitiness of the agua fresca.

    A few notes on my experience with this: I tasted it before and after I added the salt, and I liked the flavor better–by far–without the salt. The salt didn’t ruin it, but it added a bit of an off taste for me. (I’m not the biggest fan of salted melon, so I’m guessing your reaction to the salt would probably be dependent on your preference for salt on melon in the first place.) I ended up increasing the lime juice to combat the salty flavor; next time, I’d probably omit the salt all together. Additionally, if your melon is ripe, you more than likely do not need any sugar–my agua fresca was quite sweet without it and adding sugar would have been overkill. Over all, this was a great, refreshing way to use a lot of melon!

  71. Jen

    It’s this type of recipe that makes me happy I bought a good, high speed blender!
    Gorgeous photos. I love seeing both the cantaloupe and honeydew versions of the drink.

  72. Jessica

    Oh man why am I just no seeing this! <3 a melon aguita! My favorite combo was always anything involving Guava, which I find barely edible in any other form, but somehow when pressed into service in an agua fresca, it tastes like an indescribably delicious melon of indeterminate type. So wonderful. Of course the agua fresca I always end up making myself (because everyone loves it) is like a coconut limeade. I can't wait to try your melon version this summer!

  73. Gillian

    I just made this, even though I’m pregnant during a Canadian winter…. it looked so good I had to make it right away. I used cantaloupe, threw a whole peeled lime in the blender and a small piece of peeled ginger. Wonderful! Thank you for the recipe I’ll be making versions of this for the next 6 months, then probably with vodka after that…