recipe

Agua de Tamarindo: the incredible, refreshing recipe for Mexican agua fresca

Total time: 15 Min + Soaking time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 15 people
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Ingredients
dried tamarind pods
15
water, divided
2 quarts
Granulated sugar
1 cup

If you're bored of the same old drinks but want something refreshing you can make at home to beat the heat this summer, you'll love this phenomenal agua de tamarindo recipe. Tamarind water is simple to make, non-alcoholic Mexican drink. It's a type of agua fresca made from tamarind fruit, sugar, and water.

If you've never had the pleasure of tasting tamarind water, you're in for a treat. It's sweet, tart, and wonderfully refreshing. Once you try it, you'll be making agua de tamarindo all summer long!

What is Agua de Tamarindo?

Agua de tamarindo is a type of agua fresca (Spanish for “cool water” or “fresh water”), a popular Mexican drink made from water and fruit. These easy-to-make drinks are non-alcoholic and are common on the menus of Mexican restaurants, street vendors, and markets in Mexico and certain parts of the USA.

Agua de tamarindo is an agua fresca made from tamarind pods and has the fruit's signature sweet-tart flavor.

Where Can You Find Tamarind Pods?

Tamarind pods are widely available in Latin and Asian markets. If you can't find the pods, you can always order them online. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find tamarind puree or concentrate in your local supermarket, but take note: tamarind pods yield a much tastier agua de tamarindo.

Agua de Tamarindo Ingredients

Tamarind water is made from just three ingredients: water, sugar, and of course, tamarind pods.

Tamarind pods come from the tamarind tree, native to Africa but has been exported to other parts of the world. The fruit is common in Indian, Middle Eastern, Latino, and African cuisine.

How to Make Tamarindo Drink

If you've never made tamarind water, don't fret. It's incredibly easy to make. Start by putting one quart of water into a pot. Let it come to a boil over high heat.

As the water is boiling, remove the outer shells and stringy fibers from the tamarind. Throughout the shells and fibers. As soon as the water comes to a rollicking boil, take the pot off the heat and put the tamarind fruit and sugar into the water. Leave the pulp to soak for an hour and a half or so. After 90 minutes, squeeze out the seeds, and take off any remaining fibers. Get rid of them.

Now you'll just be left with the pulp in the water. Pour the liquid and tamarind pulp into a blender. Blitz until the fruit is mixed into the liquid. At this point, you can either strain out the pulp or leave it in your agua de tamarindo.

Transfer the tamarind water into a large pitcher. Pour in the remaining 1 quart of water and stir. Place in the fridge until chilled, then enjoy over ice or on its own!

Tips for Making Agua de Tamarindo

For less sweet tamarind water, use less sugar.

If you can't find tamarindo pods, you can use tamarind puree, however, tamarind pods will give you a more flavorful agua fresca.

Don't forget to stir your tamarind drink before serving.

Pour your tamarind water into a popsicle mold to make agua de tamarindo popsicles.

What to Serve with Tamarind Water

Tamarind water and other aguas frescas are best enjoyed over ice. They're often paired with Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas, tostadas, and other dishes, or you can enjoy them on their own as a refreshing way to cool down during the summer.

Agua de Tamarindo Variations

If you prefer a tarter beverage, squeeze in some lime juice.

For a spicy drink, add some arbol chili or cayenne pepper to the mixture for a spicy, yet refreshing beverage.

You can use sweetener instead of sugar for a sugar-free version.

You can also add a splash of rum or tequila to make a boozy agua fresca.

Can You Make Tamarindo Drink Ahead of Time? 

Absolutely! Tamarind water stays good for up to three days, so you can make it a day or so in advance.

How to Store Tamarind Water

Keep your agua de tamarindo in the fridge. Enjoy it within 3 days.

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Instructions

Pour one quart of water into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Remove the outer shells and fibers from the tamarind pods. Discard.

Once the water comes to a vigorous boil, take the pot off the heat and place the tamarind fruit and sugar into the water. Leave for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Squeeze out the seeds and any remaining fibers, and discard.

Pour the liquid and tamarind pulp into a blender. Blitz until the fruit is mixed into the liquid.

If desired, strain out the pulp.

Transfer the tamarind water into a large pitcher. Pour in the remaining 1 quart of water and stir. Place in the fridge until chilled.

Notes

You can leave your agua de tamarindo pulpy or strain it for a smoother drink.

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