Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Agua Fresca)
Watermelon and lime combine forces in this simply delightful recipe for Agua de Sandia, a traditional Mexican beverage that will refresh you all summer long. If you love aguas frescas, this sweet, thirst-quenching drink is for you! As a bonus, all you need to make this yummy recipe is a watermelon, some fresh lime, sugar, and a blender.
Summer is (un)officially here, and with it’s arrival came my absolute favorite fruit – WATERMELON! Whether you opt for the seedless variety or the conventional ones (with all the seed spitting contests that are sure to ensue), this watermelon agua fresca is the best way to welcome fun in the sun.
What is Agua de Sandia?
Agua de Sandia is literally translated to “watermelon water” and is one of the most beloved types of aguas frescas around! This lightly sweetened beverage is made by blending watermelon, water, and lime juice with just a touch of simple syrup for the most delicious concoction around.
If you’re unfamiliar with aguas frescas, they are like juices but lighter. Homemade aguas frescas are made with fresh produce (like watermelon in this recipe, or cucumbers in my agua de pepino recipe) blended with water. They are much healthier and more natural than the majority of bottled beverages for sale. While many do include sugar, remember that they are only lightly sweetened and use real, natural cane sugar.
Why I Love This Recipe
Watermelon is one of those flavors that I just can’t wait to taste each year. Whether you put it in a martini, frozen margarita, margarita on the rocks with mezcal, turn it into a mule or sprinkle it with Tajín, I’m all for it. It’s sweet, refreshing and just screams “summer!” Everything about watermelon reminds me of simpler times spent with my grandma, Jesusita.
This yummy watermelon agua fresca is one of the purest ways to celebrate this lovely fruit. When you break down the ingredients, you really just need three things: watermelon, lime, and a bit of sugar. Easy!
And if you thought having a short ingredient list was cool, you’re sure to love how simple this agua de sandia is to make. Simply toss a few things in a blender, pour through a mesh sieve and refrigerate. The whole thing takes just five minutes to make!
Both kids and adults love this refreshing watermelon lime cooler, making it the perfect addition to your holiday grill outs, family barbecues, and pool days. I double dog dare you to find a better way to get hydrated than by guzzling this yummy agua de sandia.
How to Choose a Perfect Watermelon
Since agua de sandia is primarily made with watermelon, it’s important that you choose the very best one. First, be sure to find a melon that seems heavy for its size; that means it’s filled with juicy goodness!
Next, look at the skin. Contrary to what you might think, you want a dull looking exterior. If it’s shiny, put ‘er back. If you are grabbing a striped variety, you should also look for strong, contrasting stripes.
Now it’s time to examine the field spot. (That’s the place where the watermelon rested on the ground as it grew.) You want a field mark that is yellow, not white. If it’s white, it was likely picked too young. The stem should also be yellow/brown. If it’s green, it was picked too young.
Now that you know how to pick the best watermelon around, follow this easy tutorial to cutting it into cubes.
How to Make Watermelon Agua Fresca
This recipe is so easy, you’re going to flip. Grab your cubed watermelon, lime juice, simple syrup, and a blender.
TIP: Need to make simple syrup? Simply combine 2 cups water with 1 cup sugar. In a saucepan heat until the sugar has melted, then remove from heat and let cool. Store any extra syrup in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Purée half of the cubed watermelon, water, and simple syrup in a blender. Pour through a course strainer into a large pitcher. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water, and simple syrup. Stir in lime juice.
Refrigerate until very cold. Before serving, stir. If desired, garnish with lime slices and mint. That’s it! I have a feeling this is a recipe you’ll be playing on repeat during the sunny season. 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, and I love where your head is at. In fact, if you want to make more fun adult beverages, check out my post on spiked aguas frescas. Salud!
Yep! This agua de sandia is best served very cold, so give yourself at least 4 to 5 hours of chilling time when you make it. I prefer drinking agua fresca the day that it is made for the best flavor, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also pour any leftovers into popsicle molds for super refreshing summer treats!
While I love the old-school watermelons for those lovely black seeds (I was a seed spitting champion back in the day), seedless watermelons will taste just as good.
More Summertime Favorites
Need more recipe ideas for the warmer weather? I can help with that. Check out some of my other favorites:
If you tried my easy recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca (Agua de Sandia), please rate and review it below!
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Agua de Sandia
- 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon, divided
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 3/4 cup simple syrup, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Lime slices to garnish
- Mint leaves as a garnish
- Puree half of the cubed watermelon, water, and simple syrup in a blender. Pour through a course strainer and into a large pitcher. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water, and sugar. Stir in lime juice.
- Refrigerate until very cold. Before serving stir and garnish with lime slices and mint if desired.
- Makes 2 quarts.
- Make simple syrup ahead of time and use after it’s cooled. To make simple syrup combine 2 cups water with 1 cup sugar. In a saucepan heat until the sugar has melted, then remove from heat and let cool.
- Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also pour any leftovers into popsicle molds for super refreshing summer treats!
- Store any extra syrup in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: June 2011. This recipe is also published in the Muy Bueno cookbook.
30 Comments on “Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Agua Fresca)”
How much tequila for two quarts???
Did you want to make a big batch or make batch cocktails? I usually calculate 1 cup of agua over ice with 1 to 2 ounces tequila. 2 quarts = 8 cups, so if you want to spike it, add 1 to 2 cups to the full batch depending how strong you want it.
Where can so find those adorable drink coasters? I have to have them.
The cocktail napkins are from mesachicparties.com
Agua de sandia is the ultimate summer cooler. I’ve never tried it with a simple syrup, thanks for sharing this new addition. I must try this soon, so refreshing and Jeanine’s picutes are always a hit!
Hola Bonnie, thanks for stopping by…we love watermelon too. I agree, it is the ultimate summer cooler. We will pass along your sweet comments to Jeanine. Happy 4th.
When I went to Mexico in 2007 I fell in love with the cuisine and especially the refreshing beverages. However I, and my fiance are diabetic. Do you have any ideas to reduce the sugar? I am wondering if anyone has made “simple syrup” with stevia. Any ideas would be grate! Karen
Karen, I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any suggestions for making this drink with any other sweetener. However, if you happen to get a really sweet watermelon or a canary watermelon, the yellow ones, which are extremely sweet, than try making it without any sweetener. Just add a little bit of water to get the blending started. Let me know how this works out.
Don’t make the same mistake I did.
Put the watermelon in the blender first, and then pour the simple syrup over that. When you plop 4 cups of watermelon into a liquid-filled blender bad things happen.
Amanda, you are so cute…I can only imagine…I hope you enjoyed a tall glass of agua after your mishap…
We have a giant ripe watermelon on the kitchen counter right now. Guess what today’s project is?
And by the way, I love the photography here so much!
Carrie, thanks for the generous comment. Would love to know if the watermelon on your counter made it to the blender…
I wonder why we don’t get seedless watermelon here in Portugal. I guess it’s a different type of watermelon or something. Much like seedless grapes, which we don’t have either. Anyway, this seems absolutely delicious and so refreshing. Great post, as usual!
Joana, I don’t really think ours are seedless either. If you look closely they are still there, but they aren’t black. Thank you for visiting us from Portugal. Enjoy!
Watermelon should win the “most photogenic” award in the food world. This looks so refreshing and delicious! Thanks for sending along the recipe.
Lea Ann I agree, thanks for the sweet photogenic comments. Jeanine Thurston, our photography is truly amazing with her camera. Enjoy the recipe.
Agua de sandia is a staple in my house during the summer! Nice to see a different spin on the same delicious recipe! I’ll definitely try your version soon.
Maura, sandia is a staple in our home for summer too…we all love it! I love buying it at farmer’s marketsw too.
I just made agua de Sandia a few days ago for a lunch I had here at my house. SO yummy…. Your recipe is a little different… I’ll have to try it. 🙂
Hola Nicole, let us know if you try our version. Happy Summer!
Wow — yum! Great pictures, too. Especially the first one; what a lovely contrast of colors. 🙂
Aurelia, thank you!!!
Not a fan of watermelon but the photos are really pretty! Makes my mouth water!
Sujeiry, glad you like the pictures…thanks for visiting our site.
Have you ever tried yellow watermelon? It’s sweeter than regular watermelon and the sweetener might not be necessary. I love this drink during carne asadas and it also reminds me when I used to buy them from the juice vendor in Mexico. He would pour them in a plastic bag and add a popote. Ah! The good ol days. 😀
Ericka, I remember having this in Mexico on our visits too. Thanks for the popote reference totally catapulted me back in time. Veronica
I cannot wait to make this!! Sounds exactlyy what the baby wants! 😉
I ate watermelon all summer during both my pregnancies — Your baby wants this, trust me! There are many health benefits associated with watermelon and it can be very beneficial during pregnancy. Stay cool amiga! I know it’s difficult in HOT Texas. Best of luck throughout your pregnancy! Besos!
Yvette, thank you for sharing! I have been craving this (with a little vodka of course) ever since your cooking party!!
LOL Kirsten! We will be posting the adult recipe VERY soon. Glad it was memorable!