Cucumber-Lemon Aqua Fresca

Serves

A refreshing thirst quencher, this unusual cucumber-lemon drink is the perfect antidote for a hot steamy day. Cucumber juice is a beautiful shade of green and has a clean, fresh flavor.

It's fun to experiment with other combinations, too — try cucumber & lemongrass, or cucumber & mint — to create your own custom aqua frescas.

This drink is delicious without any sweetener, but you can add agave nectar or simple syrup to your taste. Be careful not to over-sweeten the drink, or it won't be as refreshing.


Ingredients

3 large English cucumbers
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (chilled)
2 1/2 cups seltzer or sparkling water (chilled)
  Simple syrup or agave nectar (optional, to taste)
  Ice cubes
4 slices cucumber (as garnish)


Directions

Finely grate the cucumbers (there's no need to peel or seed the English variety) into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let them drain for about 1 hour at room temperature (or in the refrigerator if the day is very hot). Using your hands or the back of a spoon, squeeze all of the juice from the grated cucumbers; they should yield approximately 1-3/4 cups of juice. Refrigerate.

Just before serving, combine the cucumber and lemon juices in a pitcher. Add the seltzer water and agave or simple syrup (if using) to taste, and stir to dissolve. Add ice cubes and divide the aqua fresca among 4 glasses. Garnish each serving with a slice of cucumber, if desired. Serve very cold.

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