Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Enjoying an Agua Fresca in Austin On A Summer Day

June Checklist Item: Cool Off with an Agua Fresca



During the summer, I find more excuses to indulge in cool treats, and one drink I've found which is a real summer crowd pleaser is an agua fresca.

Aguas frescas, meaning "cool waters" in Spanish, are common drinks in Mexico and other parts of Latin America and are primarily fruit juices mixed with water and sugar. Somehow, they are refreshing in a way that plain juice just isn't, and the use of fruits we aren't normally accustomed to makes them different and special. 

There are several flavors, but it is very common to find tamarindo (made with the tamarind fruit), jamaica (made with hibiscus) and horchata (made with a mix of almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley or tigernuts and cinnamon). Other flavors include melon (cantaloupe) and sandía (watermelon).

Now that you know more about this refreshing beverage, where do you find them in Austin? Here are a few places we've enjoyed an agua fresca:

  • Chango's (UT area)–There are three flavors to choose from, and horchata is usually one of them.
  • El Chilito (2 locations and one coming soon)–Watermelon, lime, piña (pineapple) and horchata (on a seasonal basis). Side note: El Chilito offers the Ojo Rojo on the menu, which is horchata mixed with espresso! 
  • Fiesta (2 locations)–You can choose from a variety of flavors.
  • Fresa's (near downtown, with a drive-thru)–Limón, sandía, hibiscus and horchata
  • Juiceland (all 12 locations)–Blueberry lemonade, watermelon raspberry, strawberry limeade, pineapple spinach, cucumber apple, cucumber mint, mate mint, peach watermelon, mango habanero and cacao durian
  • La Michoacana Meat Market (4 locations)–Horchata is always available, and a few other flavors rotate. Side note: La Michoacana caters to Mexican clientele, so most of the customers and staff speak primarily in Spanish.
  • Maria's Taco Xpress (South Lamar)–Horchata is always available, and a few other flavors rotate.
  • Mr. Natural (2 locations)–Flavors rotate seasonally. 
  • Polvo's (2 locations)–Sandía, horchata, cantaloupe, lime
  • Takoba (East Central)–Flavors rotate; there is one daily flavor.
  • Tacodeli (5 locations)–Cantaloupe, watermelon, honey lemonade and horchata
  • El Taquito (3 locations)–Horchata, pineapple and cantaloupe at the Round Rock and Pflugerville locations and the aforementioned plus either tamarindo or jamaica at the Riverside location.
  • Thai Fresh (South Central)–Thai basil lime or another seasonal selection is available daily.
  • Veracruz All Natural–This food truck's First Street location lists mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberry, strawberry and banana, watermelon and cucumber on its menu, although I've had a super yummy melon (cantaloupe) flavor at the truck in the East 7th Eats food court.
  • Zocalo Cafe (Clarksville)–Horchata is always available, and there is one other option (either pineapple/orange or watermelon).
About the author: A recovering workaholic, Nicole Basham now spends her time rediscovering Austin through her 9-year-old son's eyes. A soccer-playing mom, Nicole also enjoys tickling too close to bedtime, taking in some live music and being silly. You can also find her writing at LiveMom.com and FreeFuninAustin.com.

 

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