Mexico’s Aguas Frescas refresh on a hot day. You’ll make these delicious and super-easy non-alcoholic drinks on repeat all summer. This Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lime & Mint is based on a version that I had in Mexico City.

Cucumber Agua Fresca might be the most refreshing drink ever

Everywhere you go in Mexico City, you can find agua fresca—a non-alcoholic drink with fruit blended with water, lime, and sugar—they are just the thirst quencher for a bright sunny day. You’d be hard pressed to find a drink more refreshing. At least, I haven’t found one. Agua de Pepino, or Cucumber Agua Fresca, was one of my favorites, and I thought that I’d share the simple recipe with you.

While you need to be super careful ordering aguas frescas on the street (in fact, I’ll give you the advice my friend from Mexico gave me—don’t do it unless you know for certain where the ice and water are coming from), you still have to add them to your must-try list when in CDMX. Safe aguas frescas exist, and they are divine. I enjoyed them while on a great food tour in the historic center and also at the Mercado de Antojitos Mexicanos Juanita in Coyoacán.

Sugar is traditional

When you think of Mexican food, you likely think spicy, but sweet is also on the list. As I wrote in my post on Mango Paletas with Tajin & Chamoy, our food tour guide joked that Mexicans like to start with something sweet and then add a little sugar, and a little more. This Cucumber Agua Fresca is not overly sweet, and you can certainly replace the sweetener (agave would be a natural choice), but I encourage you not to forgo it entirely. The sweetness adds to the refreshment.

A lime, mint leaves, and a cucumber on a cutting board are the main ingredients in Cucumber Agua Fresca

Blend away for Cucumber Agua Fresca

Aguas frescas could not be simpler to make, and this recipe makes it even a bit easier by chucking everything into the blender, instead of adding the sugar and lime separately (I didn’t find that it made a difference in taste, and I like less mixing, especially when it’s hot).

Here, we simply peel, seed, and chop a cucumber into chunks. We add that to the jar of a blender, along with water, sugar with lime zest rubbed into it, and the juice of half a lime. I added a few mint leaves as well, though you could add other herbs or skip. Blend it until it liquifies—you can strain it if you want, but I don’t.

Use chamoy to rim the glass with Tajin for a cucumber agua fresca. The image shows a rimmed glass above a decorative bowl on a wooden table

Make your Cucumber Agua Fresca to your taste

Give things a taste and adjust to your liking. Serve over ice with lime and cucumber slices, and a sprig of mint that you’ve smacked in your hand (it releases the oils and is fun). Enjoy!

It’s traditional to rim the glass with Tajin and either chamoy (if you have paste, use it) or lime juice. The thought of chili and mint sounded strange to me, but, like all flavors Mexican, it totally works.

Best the day it’s made—so small batch

Like all aguas frescas, Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lime & Mint is best right after its made. As it only takes five minutes, it’s not a big deal to make more. This makes about two drinks (or one big one), so you can have seconds. If you need more, just use the multiplier on the recipe card.

Endless variations

The basic formula for an agua fresca is fruit-sugar-lime-herbs, and the variations you can make are endless. Watermelon is another favorite of mine. Traditionally, and, in my opinion, best served non-alcoholic, you could certainly spike it with a little tequila.

Make friends with your blender this summer and go wild. Let me know what you come up with!

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Cucumber Agua Fresca, garnished with lime and mint and the glass rimmed with Tajin. The glass is held in a hand, and a pool and trees are visible in the background

Cucumber Agua Fresca (Agua de Pepino)

An agua fresca (literally "fresh water") is a refreshing non-alcoholic Mexican drink made with fruit. They are refreshing and delicious. This is based on one that I had in Mexico City. "Cucumber" in Spanish is "pepinio," and this is often called agua de pepino.
While you can replace the sugar, it is authentic. You could also use a little less, taste it, and then adjust after blending.
Rubbing lime zest into the sugar is not authentic, so far as I am aware, but it adds a little more lime flavor, and I like it. If you'd like, you could add an authentic touch and rim your class with Tajin. I was skeptical of the mint/chili combination, but it works.
Aguas frescas are best consumed the day they are made. This makes 1 large or 2 regular-sized drinks. I don't think that you'll have a problem polishing it off.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 drinks

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks if using a regular cucumber, remove the seeds
  • cup water to taste, could go up to a cup
  • 3 tbsp sugar to taste
  • ½ lime, zested and juiced zest optional
  • 3 mint leaves to taste
  • ice optional, to serve
  • mint leaves, cucumber slices, lime slices to garnish
  • Tajin and chamoy optional, to rim the glass

Instructions
 

  • If using the lime zest (not traditional), add the lime zest to the sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your hands to release the lime oils. Set aside while you peel and chop your cucumber
    ½ lime, zested and juiced
    Image shows a cucumber, mint leaves, and a bowl of sugar on a cutting board. A hand is rubbing the lime zest into the sugar. These are ingredients for Cucumber Agua Fresca
  • Into a blender jar, add the cucumber, water, sugar, lime juice, and mint leaves. Blend until very smooth. You may need a little more water
    1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks, ⅔ cup water, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 mint leaves
  • Serve over ice with garnished additional mint leaves, cucumber and/or lime slices. Optional, and traditional, rim your glass with Tajin and chamoy.
    Best consumed in a Mexico City park, but we do what we can. Do drink the day that it's made
    ice, mint leaves, cucumber slices, lime slices, Tajin and chamoy
    Cucumber Agua Fresca, garnished with lime and mint and the glass rimmed with Tajin. The glass is held in a hand, and a pool and trees are visible in the background

Video

Keyword agua fresca, cucumber agua fresca
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

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More Food & Travel!

This recipe for Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lime & Mint was inspired by my trip to Mexico City. Get more recipes inspired by travel, and find sumptuous culinary experiences while traveling in the Food & Travel hub from Wonder & Sundry!

Try an agua fresca on a CDMX food tour!

I had a delicious Cucumber Agua Fresca while on a great food tour in the historic center of Mexico City. This incredibly well-run tour will leave you full and happy, and you’ll learn so much about Mexican cuisine.