I dread February; it’s the longest, most painful month of the winter. It’s so far past Christmas with so much winter left to go. Ugh. This particular winter has been super mild for us in New England. I’m not ungrateful for that, I am still just longing for Spring. I can’t wait to get rid of my huge winter coat, enjoy prolonged daylight hours, fire up the grill(s), and sit out on our porch. To that end I’ll do pretty much anything to remind myself of springtime. Last year I wrote about how nail polish was helping me beat the winter blues. This year I think I found an even better cure: Cucumber Agua Fresca.
Agua frescas are fruit/citrus/spice infused waters, popular in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. That description alone should tell you why this drink will help cure your winter blues. It’s refreshing and cool with warm weather flavors.
Domestocrat’s Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lemon and Mint
(yields 2 servings)
1/2 cucumber, peeled (I use English cukes)
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. lemon juice
6 mint leaves
3 cups cold water
2 cups ice
2 tsp. Splenda (or sugar)
2 lemon slices, cut into wedges
4 mint leaves
Pulse all of your ingredients together in a food processor or blender until everything is incorporated.
Fill your glasses with ice. Put a small strainer over the top and pour in the agua fresca. I imagine if you increase the recipe (which I plan to do), you can pour the agua fresca into a pitcher and strain with a bigger strainer if you like.
Make sure to press all of the water out of the cucumber pulp with a spoon. Don’t throw away the pulp! You’ll see why below.
Garnish with lemon wedges and mint leaves. Enjoy!!
Going, going, gone!
John and I gulped these down fast. They were refreshing, light, cool, and just taste like spring/summer. The next time I make these I might let the blended mixture sit for longer to infuse more flavor into the water. Still, this recipe is fine to drink immediately.
Pro Tip: I saved my pulp in a plastic baggie, divided into equal sections, and froze as agua fresca ice cubes! I plan to toss them into plain water. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
How are you beating the winter blues this year?