Since moving to Mexico 15 years ago I have discovered (and fallen in love with) many new-to-me fruits native to Mexico like ciruelas amarillas (yellow plums), pitayas (fruit of the pipe organ cactus), and limas. Limas are by far my favorite. Here in Mexico limas are a variety of citrus limetta (AKA sweet lemon/lime). Sweet limes have the distinct flavor and aroma of a citrus fruit, but without the acidity and tartness. In it's place is a subtle sweetness, hence the name "sweet lime". Although their flavor is subtle at first, it lingers on your tastebuds and in the back of your throat leaving you with a sweet and refreshing taste in your mouth.
My preferred method is to squeeze the sweet limes using an orange juicer that way you get a sweeter juice without the bitterness of the pith. But... sweet limes aren't known for their juiciness, so squeezing the somewhat dry fruit is a rather time consuming process. And this busy mamá ain't always got time for that.
So... I came up with this quick and easy method that is full of flavor and perfectly refreshing for these warm spring days.
Agua de Lima
(Sweet Lime Agua Fresca)
- 4 sweet limes (citrus limetta)
- 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 cups water
Grate the zest of 1 sweet lime into a blender. Using a paring knife, cut off the peel from the sweet limes removing as much of the white pith as possible. Puree the sweet limes and the zest with 3 cups of water. Strain into a 2-quart pitcher. Pour in the remaining cups of water and sweeten with sugar until desired sweetness; stir to combine. Just before serving fill pitcher with ice. Pour into glasses. Enjoy!