Agua Fresca 13: Agua de Lima

Now for another citrus agua, agua de lima. You’re probably not going to be able to make in many parts of the world because I have never seen limas outside Mexico. But before you cluck your tongue and dismiss it out of hand, wait a second because it adds a new touch to ways of dealing with citrus. (And, remember, I can’t make lemonade here in Mexico because you hardly ever see lemons, so we’re even).

Here’s a lima. It’s distinguished by that little nipple on the end away from the stem.

This lima, just turning a lovely ripe yellow, is in a pot on my patio. Lucky you can’t see the spotted leaves that are a giveaway that’s it’s crying out for some kind of attention. Although they can be found across Mexico, limas are a specialty of Silao just a dozen miles from Guanajuato.

You can make an agua of just the juice if you like. It has to be said, however, that the juice of the lima is one of the less interesting citrus juices.

So instead try this, a very common way of making agua de lima.

Just chop the lima up into medium sized pieces, put them in the blender peel and all, add water to cover, and give them a really good whirl.

Sieve the puree, add sugar to taste, and fill up with water. It will look, but not taste, a bit milky. This is an agua from five limas.

This is one of my favorite aguas (have I said that before?). It’s distinctly bitter and very refreshing.

And using peel is something to consider with other citrus drinks. My mother always made hot lemonade when we had colds and included a good bit of the peel with all those oils. Wonderful for cheering you up, if not for curing you. For adults add a knob of butter for the throat and a slug of whatever alcohol you have on hand and you will sleep like a baby for hours. But that’s hardly an agua fresca so I digress.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

5 thoughts on “Agua Fresca 13: Agua de Lima

  1. Bob Mrotek

    Okay, Rachel, but my wife Gina says that if you use the peel and all with limas you have to drink it right away because if you let it sit for too long it will leave a sour/bitter taste in your mouth. I am sure that you are going to check this out :)

  2. Adam Balic

    Actually I think that I have the same type of citrus in my back yard. A type of Citrus limetta (often referred to as just “Limetta”). Some types of these are very low in acid and tend to be called “sweet limes” (lima dulce in Spanish). How acidic is yours?

    One type that originated in Mexico, but made its way to California is known as the “Millsweet”.

    One French name is “Limette à mamelon” which refers to the nipple on the end.

    Did I mention that I am collecting citrus trees?….

  3. Kay Curtis

    I made this a few weeks ago and it went strange. I read your notes to find what I’d done wrong — same process. It was a little biter for my taste and I didn’t finish it that afternoon. The next morning the left-overs, which had been in the refrigerator, had turned to a thick gelatinous mass almost as cohesive and solid as silly putty. My first thought was great gobs of natural pectin?

  4. Rachel Laudan

    Bob, Say thanks to Gina. I love the bitter and drink it for three days. But as Kay’s comment shows not everyone does. I know lots of people who find all citrus aguas too bitter after the first day. You can use fewer whole limas if you like. And it’s so easy, perhaps it’s best to make only what you need.

    Kay I have no idea what happened. Perhaps use it to seal crumbling walls?

    Adam, I started on a citrus collection too but got not much further than this. It is low acid and I think uninteresting in itself. I have the variety name it has in Mexico in a book in Guanajuato and will look it up when I get back there.

  5. Pingback: Strawberry-lima (Mexican sweet lime) agua fresca | The Mija Chronicles

I'd love to know your thoughts