I explained in my last post the benefits of agua fresca [fresh water], an economical drink that is popular in many Peruvian households. You boil fruit and spices in water, strain it, and sip the liquid throughout the day to stay hydrated. The health aides who took care of my father in Lima used to make this for him daily, and he took to it immediately. He hadn’t been in the habit of drinking much water in the U.S., but I think that the mild flavoring of agua fresca was what made this drink so easy for him to consume.
There are many methods for making agua fresca. Here is a recipe for agua de manzana [apple water] that my husband’s family used back when he was a boy growing up in Miraflores. More often his mom would make apple juice, but this recipe served nicely when fruit was less plentiful.
Peruvian Apple Water Recipe
3 apples (organic preferred)
4 cups (1 liter) of water
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole clove
¼ cup of sugar (or other sweetener)
- Wash and cut the apples into quarters, skin included. Remove the stems.
- Place the apples in a large saucepan and add the water, cinnamon and clove. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 40 minutes or until the apple pieces are mushy.
- Take the pan off the flame and let cool (15 min.). Remove the cinnamon stick and clove.
- Pour the water and apple pieces in the blender. Blend on high for one minute.
- Finally, strain the mixture, add sweetener to your taste, and serve.
I hope you’ll try this recipe and let me know what you think. If you know other recipes for traditional Peruvian apple water, please share!
If you want to follow a video in Spanish, here’s another authentic Peruvian recipe for apple water that does not use a blender.