Agua de Lima (Sweet Lime Agua Fresca)

Agua de Lima is a light and refreshing agua fresca made with sweet limes (citrus limetta).

Agua de Lima (Sweet Lime Agua Fresca) -

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.

Like most traditional agua fresca recipes, there are a variety of ways to prepare Agua de Lima. There is no wrong way to prepare Agua de Lima, it's simply a matter of preference. Some like to pulse the sweet limes in a blender for a few seconds just to break up the fruit and to lightly grind the peel like I suggest in my recipe for Agua de Limón (limeade), This method is great for when you are pressed for time and want something quick to drink. The only downside to this method is that if you pulse the sweet limes too long, you risk grinding the pith (the white part of the peel) which makes for a bitter agua fresca that intensifies as it sits.

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.

Citrus Limetta (Sweet Lime) Agua Fresca -

Agua de Lima 
(Sweet Lime Agua Fresca)

  • 4 sweet limes (citrus limetta) 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice

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! 

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