In the search for new colors for the backgrounds of my latest children's book I have found big inspiration in Aguas Frescas. Yesterday I photographed this stand at the Mercado San Juan de Dios in San Miguel de Allende. I like to make short video clips on my daily walks then review them each morning. At the end of the day it's clear I often synthesize these sights and sounds into my work. I find it also helps to sip color while I'm painting.
My mother Pillo started making these fresh fruit drinks for me when I was a kid and they are typically served from large barrel-shaped glass containers called jarrones. In summer, it's easy to find vendors selling these colorful concoctions on carts all over town often kept cool by resting on large blocks of ice. You make authentic aguas frescas from fresh fruit like melons, oranges, cantaloupes, pineapples, limes, guavas, watermelons, mangos...whatever you can find. Here in Mexico we sometimes use more exotic ingredients like hibiscus flowers [dried jamaica], tamarind pods or pomegranates.
Here's our technique.
Grab a pitcher and fill it with water.
Depending on the fruit you may or may not choose to add sweeteners like honey, agave syrup or sugar.
Cut the fruit and blend it in a blender then add that to your pitcher.
Certain fruits you might need to strain.
Cool it in the fridge overnight or add ice to drink on the spot.