A refreshing thirst quencher, this unusual cucumber-lemon drink is the perfect antidote for a hot steamy day. Cucumber juice is a beautiful shade of green and has a clean, fresh flavor. Experiment with other combinations, such as cucumber and lemongrass or cucumber and mint, to create your own custom aqua frescas.
This drink is delicious without any sweetener; how much you may want to add is a matter of personal preference. If you do add agave or simple (sugar) syrup, be careful not to over-sweeten the drink, or it won't be as refreshing.
|3 large||English cucumbers|
|1/2 cup||fresh lemon juice (chilled)|
|2 1/2 cups||seltzer or sparkling water (chilled)|
|Agave nectar or simple syrup (optional) (to taste)|
|4 slices||cucumber (as garnish)|
Finely grate the cucumbers (there's no need to peel or seed English cucumbers) into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let the cucumbers drain for about 1 hour at room temperature (or in the refrigerator if the day is very hot). Using your hands or the back of a spoon, squeeze all of the juice from the grated cucumbers; they should yield approximately 1-3/4 cups of juice. Refrigerate.
Just before serving, combine the cucumber and lemon juices in a pitcher. Add the seltzer water and agave nectar (if desired) to taste. Stir to dissolve the agave. Add ice cubes and divide the aqua fresca among 4 glasses. Garnish each serving with a slice of cucumber, if desired. Serve cold.