Agua Fresca and Old San Juan

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We were fortunate to visit

 Puerto Rico in April and

enjoy some fun in the sun.

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Besides a little barefoot & boat time

we visited Old San Juan.

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Soaking in some of

the colorful scenery~

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Even the cobblestone

pavers were colorful!

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 Their shiny blue-gray hue developed over time as a result of weather, traffic and from their iron slag content, originating from ballasts of 16th century Spanish ships.

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And also enjoyed some local flavors

including plantains.

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And took in a little history while

visiting an old Spanish fort~

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Castillo San Felipe del Morro or El Morro sits atop a high promontory overlooking the entrance to San Juan Bay is and one of the largest fortifications built by the Spain in the Caribbean.

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The construction of which began in 1539 and the result of the efforts of Spanish engineers over a period of more than 250 years.

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We enjoyed Agua Fresca during our visit, translation = fresh water~  flavored with an infusion and combination of fruit and/or herbs.

Agua Fresca sounds so much more

exotic & refreshing than fresh water :)

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In search recipes for Agua Fresca, most of what I came across is more of a procedure than a recipe, with the fruit pureed, then strained to remove the pulp. What we enjoyed daily at our hotel in Puerto Rico was water with a simple infusion of sliced fruit~ how easy and refreshing!

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 The sky’s the limit with Agua Fresca using your favorite combination of fruits and herbs and enjoying what’s in season!

Perfect and thirst-quenching for summer weather, outdoor activities and picnics~

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Strawberries are in season~

I decided to add some lime and mint flavor.

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Muddle or bruise your mint leaves

with a spoon to release the flavor~

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Cut your berries and limes and add ice and water.

Add some agave nectar or sweetener of choice to taste.

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Refrigerate several hours to allow the

  flavors of the fruit to steep and infuse the water.

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The longer it infuses, the prettier the color!

Experiment with your flavors. . .

Watermelon & Rosemary or Mint, Raspberry & Lemon or Lime, Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon & Basil, All Citrus, or Cucumber, Lime & Mint!

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If you prefer, throw your fruit in the blender and then strain to remove the solids. You could also make a simple syrup and add some herbs to impart some subtle additional flavor.

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  30 comments for “Agua Fresca and Old San Juan

  1. Dani
    May 17, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Thank you for the “little vacation” & inspiration ! I`ve never been to Puerto Rico but it reminds me a bit of Bermuda. I think I have to put it on my list and take a photo tour on my computer ! Wonderful colors !
    Have a nice day !

  2. mitchellfifty@aol.com
    May 17, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Where did you get those darling straws…such a refreshing trip.

    • May 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

      I found the straws at Target last summer :)

  3. May 17, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Looks like a nice place to visit! I like all the colorful homes and streets! Your flavorful drink sounds great!

  4. May 17, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Mmmmm….refreshing! I haven’t been to Puerto Rico since high school! (very long time)
    Such a pretty post just in time for Memorial Day Weekend!

    xo,
    RJ

  5. May 17, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I feel like I’ve been to Puerto Rico now after reading your colorful words and seeing your artistic photos! how I love those bright painted buildings and the blue slag pavers~how interesting that they were from the old Spanish ships. You really captured the place with a few carefully selected shots and beautiful photography. The agua fresca looks amazing, what a treat to have that prepared for you every day, I can’t wait to try that. Thanks for sharing all the interesting tidbits from your trip, I really enjoyed it!

  6. Cheryl
    May 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I was in Old San Juan a long time ago. It was nice to reminisce through your photos. The agua fresca looks so refreshing. What a great way to encourage water drinking!

  7. May 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

    What a wonderful trip — everything so colorful! Agua Fresca sounds like just THE thing for summer!

  8. Paula
    May 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    ~Mary~
    Thank you for sharing your vacation, the Spanish fort reminded me of the one in Fl. I was to many years ago.The agua fresca does look so refreshing, I enjoyed one at a spa with orange slices, it was tasty!!
    Have a super Day!!
    Paula In.
    Is it still raining there??

  9. linda kemp
    May 17, 2013 at 11:58 am

    The aqua fresca look delicious and tempting. I love staying in the Old Town part of San Juan. We stayed at the El Convento hotel which is perfectly located and has lovely rooms and service.

  10. May 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I love just how colorful all the photos and the area is – maybe someday I could visit.

  11. May 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Mary, Your beautiful photos make me want to head somewhere tropical. I’ve never been here, my son has and says it is beautiful. I love the colorful drinks, yummy too I’m sure. Great post.

  12. May 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Beautiful all the way through. I will have to try aqua fresca. It looks wonderful!

  13. May 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    We love aguas frescas and make them often…specially on sunny days working in the garden… Mint and limes is my favorite combination…most of the time I don’t add sugar, but sometimes I make a mint flavored simple syrup and add a bit of that…tastes almost like a (non-alcoholic) mojito.

    Your photos are gorgeous and oh, soooo refreshing looking! I will have to try the strawberries, lime and mint combination. Watermelon and rosemary sounds intriguing!

  14. May 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Hi there, I loved all the colors and sights in San Juan-though it’s been about 8 yrs since I was there. The Fort was so interesting. I appreciated the bright colors. I wonder where your girls were though. I am going to try to make some of the Aqua Fresca this weekend.
    Hugs, Noreen

  15. May 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Mary,

    I so hope that your blog and mine are going to cooperate so that I can post this comment to you. I LOVE this post!!! I’ve never been to the Caribbean before, and I never imagined how beautiful Puerto Rico is! I adore those colorful houses and flowers in old San Juan. My favorite pictures are the street of houses sloping right down to the ocean and the view from the fort. Spectacular!

    As always, your images of food and beverages are magazine worthy. That Aqua Fresca looks so delicious and refreshing; I’m going to pin this to my Pinterest account so that I can come back and try making it. It looks beautiful and would be great to serve to guests.

    Thanks for your visit Mary; maybe you and hubby will visit Las Vegas sometime. If you do, I highly recommend the Bellagio (they have really delicious coffee, by the way). I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs,

    Denise

  16. May 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    so fresh and perfect i love your combos! just need to be in the heat to enjoy those and of course i am always trying to flee back to the world of hot chocolate and pot roast all summer long!

    your pr pics are fabulous, its been ages since i have been there, but i didn’t get such cute pics as you :-) scott was just there, his pics were flat our dismal!

  17. May 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Flavored waters are great Mary and yours looks beautiful! I love all of the pretty colors the buildings are painted, looks like a fun place to visit! Happy Weekend:@)

  18. May 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    what a gorgeous place! and your drink looks so yummy and refreshing!

  19. May 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Hi Mary, Your fruity waters look both delicious and beautiful! So much better than the bottled sweet waters around now. Your pictures of PR really make we want to go back. Those tropical colors ~~ and I can feel that soft breeze ~~ ahhh ~~ with an agua fresca and a good book! Linda

  20. May 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Those blue toned streets and colorful houses are so pretty! What a gorgeous day to photograph the area. Makes me want to be there this very minute enjoying the sights.

    I love your pretty and refreshing sounding Agua Fresco. I could impress my kids with this. Thanks as always for inspiration.

  21. May 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    thank you for the full of color in this rainy day!

  22. May 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve only been to Old San Juan once, back in 1999, but I still remember the vivid colors of the buildings. Your photos are exquisite! I usually add lemon slices to my agua, but love the idea of adding in the strawberries too. Will have to try that. It looks so refreshing!

  23. May 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I remember when you went to Puerto Rico, but thanks for taking me along again. What’s really tempting me is the beautiful aqua infused water! I could use a glass right now.

  24. May 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I enjoyed the tour, It looks like it would be a very inspiring place to go for decorating inspiration, all those beautiful colors!

  25. May 20, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Your drinks looks so refreshing. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. PR seems like a beautiful place to visit.

  26. Ann PAULEY
    June 5, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Love your post! The vibrant colors of the
    Beautiful scenery really is a feast for the eyes !

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