Agua de Fresa / Strawberry Water, 1964
Novo, Salvador and Alberto Beltrán. Las senadoras suelen guisar. México: Instituto Nacional de Protección a la Infancia, 1964.
This simple, refreshing drink takes a little effort to prepare, but it’s worth the trouble. I was surprised by how good it was, and the bright pink color makes a dramatic addition to your table.
Agua de Fresa
- 500 gramos de fresa
- 50 gramos de flor de jamaica
- 250 gramos de azúcar
- 1 litro de agua
Manera de hacerse
Las fresas se lavan, se les quitan los rabos, se machacan y se pasan por una servilleta húmeda. Se les agrega medio litro de agua, donde se habrá remojado durante 3 horas la flor de jamaica, que ya estará colada, y el otro medio litro de agua donde se habrá disuelto el azúcar. Se agrega un poco de hielo picado y se pone en una olla vidriada.
- 500 grams strawberries (1 pound)
- 50 grams hibiscus flowers (2.5 cups)
- 350 grams sugar (1 ¾ cups)
- 1 liter water
Wash the strawberries and remove stems. Crush them and strain them through a damp cloth (e.g. cheesecloth or a tea towel). Add half a liter of water, in which the hibiscus flowers have been soaking for three hours, to the strained strawberries and dissolve the sugar in the other half liter of water. Put both together with a little ice and serve in a glass pitcher.
In the kitchen…
This drink was really good. I worried that the hibiscus would overpower the strawberry flavor, but the strawberries held their own and covered some of the bitterness of the hibiscus. Dried hibiscus flowers are available in San Antonio supermarkets, but residents of other cities may have to look in specialty food stores. Because I do not like overly sweet beverages, I reduced the sugar to one cup, and I could have done with even less. I used a pastry blender to mash the strawberries, then pressed them through a fine mesh sieve with a spoon. If I made the recipe again, I would puree the strawberries well in a blender or food processer to make straining easier.
One word of caution: the hibiscus water is a very pretty pink and will dye your clothes to match. Wear an apron!