Greenmarket Inspo: Cantaloupe-Coconut Agua Fresca

Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.

On summer mornings in Mexico City, waiting in line for a colorful agua fresca from a street vendor is just as common as ordering an A.M. cup of coffee. Made by blending fresh fruit, water, and sugar, an agua fresca is a smoothie’s lighter, more refreshing cousin, and an ideal way to utilize the season’s sweetest produce.

A ripe cantaloupe doesn’t need a ton to turn it into a flavorful cold drink, so this agua fresca recipe starts at the market. To pick the best cantaloupe from the pile, look for one that smells sweet and feels heavy and firm for its size, with a slightly indented stem. Then, add just a drizzle of honey to bring out the sweetness, lime juice for a tart note, and coconut water to give the whole thing a slightly tropical vibe. Freezing the cantaloupe first and straining after blending keeps it thin, icy, and very chuggable.

Cantaloupe-Coconut Agua Fresca

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs cantaloupe, cut into large pieces (about half of 1 medium cantaloupe)
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds scooped out, cut into large pieces
¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
4 cups coconut water
1 tbsp honey
Pinch kosher salt

Method

1. Freeze the cantaloupe:

Place the cantaloupe pieces on a sheet pan. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

2. Make the agua fresca:

Combine the frozen cantaloupe and cut cucumber, lime juice, coconut water, honey and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer before serving. Enjoy!