It’s hard to believe that most of the country is broiling in a massive heat wave when it’s 65 degrees and raining in Seattle. My mom, who is currently roasting in New Jersey, said it’s so hot she heard that even the animals at the Bronx Zoo are cranky. When the tri-state area along with most of the country is reaching temperatures that even the chimps can't tolerate, what else is there to do but take a load off (and probably most of your clothing), break out the blender, and cool down with an ice cold agua fresca.
Agua fresca is served all over Mexico and Central America, where it's cooled down nationals and tourists for years. It literally means, “water refreshment” and is simply pureed fruit, sweetened with a little sugar and strained of it’s pulp. What’s left is pure fruit juice and the perfect cure for the searing summer heat. I made this with a stalk of rhubarb from the backyard and a pint of strawberries, but you can (and should) experiment with whatever fruit you have on hand.
Stay cool, people!
2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 cup rhubarb, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 c water
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Place a swatch of cheese cloth over a medium bowl and strain the puree of it’s pulp. Pour remaining juice into two glasses with ice and garnish strawberries or whatever fresh fruit you’ve got!