>Recipe: Refreshing Cucumber Water with Mint and Vanilla Bean

I love the smell and taste of cucumbers on a hot summer day and since we’re on the cusp of fall, I thought I’d let you in on a fantastic refreshing drink recipe to celebrate the last of heat. In mexico it’s quite common to find ‘aguas’ (translated as waters) typically made with either little juicy key limes (similar to lemonade), oranges, guava, papaya, any fruit really, pureed with water and sugar in a blender then strained in to a pitcher with ice. Using this idea I came up with a delicious recipe for cucumber water, using mint, raw sugar and fresh vanilla bean. We just moved into a new house in Malinalco and the garden out back is overwhelmed with mint and so we try to use it as much as possible when cooking. The mint is now finally under control after 2 months of more -or-less daily use and I had some vanilla beans left over from a trip to oaxaca last august and well cucumbers are everywhere in the summer.

If you’d like something with a spike, the kids in Mexico add vodka to ‘aguas’ at parties, calling them instead ‘aguas locas’ (crazy waters), maybe a nice idea for an daytime party or picnic. enjoy!

Cucumber Water with Mint and Vanilla Bean

1/2 normal sized cucumber chopped, outer layer of green skin peeled off
1 large sprigs of mint on stem washed
1/2 fresh vanilla bean
2 full tbsp sugar (natural raw sugar is best)
4 cups water

Put all ingredients into blender and blend on high until solid ingredients turn to pulp. Taste to see if you might want to add more sugar or mint. Once ready, strain with a fine sieve over large pitcher, add ice and enjoy! Does not keep more than a day in the fridge, so i recommend you only make what you plan on drinking that day.
Makes about 4 servings


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