We hope you are standing by waiting faithfully, patiently, and in utter suspense for the latest entry to our blog. Which Gilda is to blame for the recent lapse? Well, La Ahijada was off to Yale on a writing seminar. And as for me, the end of the school year is a big change of gears. I was frantically turning in grades and focused on the final, pesky details involved in taking a group of active 14 year olds to a small, historic town in Mexico.The two weeks in Mexico are now a self-contented blur. The students basically took over the town. They made extraordinary leaps in their knowledge of Spanish, made meaningful friendships, played soccer, and performed community service. Also, these boys tried traditional Mexican food and (gasp!) survived for two weeks without soft drinks. I put down the initial near insurrection by simply putting on my ear plugs and then plying them with some of the aguas frescas I remembered from my childhood, so good, so healthy, so icy-cold on a hot day. The whining for Cokes tapered off to barely audible murmurs by the end of the trip as the boys had gone through gallons of agua de jamaica, horchata, hoja de limón, agua de sandía, guanábana, tamarindo, or guayaba. I even heard some boys talking about how limonada made with real limes is just incomparable to anything out of a bottle or can.
I hope you find this unusual agua as delicious as I have found it. It has the green freshness of the leaf of the lime tree. If you have access to lemon leaves, rather than lime leaves, you’ll be able to make an equally delicious agua. Perhaps you don’t have access to citrus leaves at all, so as a last resort, you might look for a store or market that sells limes or lemons with the leaves still attached.
- About 25 lime leaves without stems
- ¾ cup sugar
- 10 leaves of mint for garnish in each glass
- juice of two limes or one orange
- 8 cups water
- Using a blender, blend the lime leaves in 2 of the cups of water and the sugar
- With a strainer, pour into a pitcher and add the other 6 cups of water
- Adjust for sugar, and squeeze the 2 limes or the one orange
- Stir, add ice and pour into glasses garnished with sprig of mint.