Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Agua Fresca de Platano (Banana Drink)

"Agua Fresca" means "fresh water" or "cooling water" they are a category of Latin drinks, typically any variety of fruit sometimes cucumber, blended with water & diluted with sugar to taste, in giant pitchers with ice. Popular one's are melon, honeydew, papaya, watermelon, strawberry, etc. certain varieties have some milk added to them to lighten the color and give a little extra richness. The banana version which I present here sometimes has flavoring like vanilla or cinnamon added to it, and tastes similar to the Mexican horchata (rice milk drink) it is one of my favorites, and it's easy whip up whenever because most people have bananas, milk, sugar, and water at home which are the basics, as well as vanilla or cinnamon in a well stocked pantry.

This drink is also really good if your in the mood for an alcoholic drink, you can serve yourself some in a tall glass with any clear colored rum and lots of ice.

Makes 4 quartz
-2 bananas (yellow stage or super ripe, up to you BUT NO GREEN ones or unripe because it'll be to astringent)
-juice of 1/2 lime (optional, my mom say's it helps the drink not oxidize/ preserves freshness of banana)
-1 1/2 cups white sugar (more to taste)
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
-1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
-12 cups water
-4 cups milk

(1) In a blender peeled bananas, 1/2 juice of lime, 2-3 cups water, sugar, cinnamon powder, and vanilla extract.
Blend on high for atleast 1-2 minutes you want it as smooth as possible.

(2) I used 2 pitchers, each holds 2 quartz, I divided the mixture I blended into 2 seperate parts, you can use 1 giant pitcher that can hold 4 quartz. Dilute mixture with the rest of the water but leave space in the pitcher to add the milk,
stirring as you add the water, and stir in milk towards the end.
The milk is used to give it some richness and a nicer color. Taste for sugar and adjust :)

Recipe can be cut in half, it's best consumed within the same day, as the banana tends to darken in color over time.

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