If you are beachside in Mexico this summer, you will find yourself in need of something cool to counteract the high temperatures and humidity. Agua fresca, or “fresh water” as it translates into English, is a delicious, non-alcoholic way to cool off wherever you are in the Bay area. Look for the large, bee-hived shaped glass jars containing brilliant, jewel-colored water in local paleterias y neverias (ice cream stores). Filled with ice and fruit, these flavored beverages are sure to refresh your body and perk up your taste buds with their strong, fruity flavors.
Agua fresca is normally made with fresh fruits and grains mixed with water and sugar. Common favorites are the ruby-hued jamaica water, made with hibiscus flower, comforting horchata, a combination of cinnamon, sugar and rice water, and tart tamarindo, made from tamarind pods.
The flavor options can depend on what fruit is in season, so be adventurous and try something unexpected!
Local ice cream stores and stands will also often offer “paletas”, which are fresh fruit popsicles often made on-site. You can usually get a water-made version (paleta de agua) or milk-made (paleta de leche) of most flavors. If you want to go decadent (and you really should), try some of the paletas dipped in chocolate and fresh coconut or granola. One of our local Puerto Vallarta favorites are from Pericos Paletería y Nevería
Ice cream is also a popular local treat, for children and adults alike, often called “nieve” (snow) or “helado” (frozen). Many of the local neverias make their own and there are many familiar flavors available. Try flavors of local, in-season fruits such as papaya and guava. You can even find such exotic flavors as tequila and kahlua.
Don’t forget to keep your ice cream loving girls cool in the summer heat with our light and breezy Mexican dresses found here.
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