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If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I love agua frescas in all flavors. From South America, including Mexico to be sure, these are beverages of fruit, sweetening, and water. Served ice cold, these are the ultimate in refreshment.

Now, there is always the issue of the relative amounts of berries and water. How diluted is that berry flavor? From Giada De Laurentiis at the Food Network, there is this extreme delightful version which is heavy on the berries, light on the water.

I’ve been making cocktails by mudding basil and strawberry – you’ll see a post soon. This combination of basil and strawberry seems to work just dandy with or without alcohol.

You’ll find this beverage to be very refreshing on its own. Or you can add some rum or vodka to make the perfect afternoon cocktail. It’s wonderful in any combination you might concoct.

The water is added here in two stages. If you like your flavor less diluted, just do the first round of 2 cups of water and skip the second.

Strawberry-Basil Agua Fresca

Yield: about 5 cups total


  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 large basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups water


Add the strawberries, sugar, basil leaves and lemon juice to a blender; puree on high speed for 1 minute. Add 2 cups cold water and puree for an additional minute. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher and stir in another 2 cups cold water.

Serve over ice.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis at the Food Network

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/50th second at ISO‑400