Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrating with Refreshing Agua Fresca Veraniega and Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture and enjoy some festive party food.

Nothing says celebration than a delicious appetizer or pupu and a party-worthy drink. So to honor the Cinco de Mayo holiday theme over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I selected the simple Roasted Garlic Guacamole and paired it with the Agua Fresca Veraniega, both from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless. Sure, most people celebrate with a little alcohol but I was intrigued by the combination of cucumber, pineapple, lime, cilantro and parsley in this beverage that Rick calls his "favorite summer soft drink." Besides, I think that a splash of rum or vodka would make this a tasty mojito-like cocktail if you are so inclined.

Rick says, "My favorite agua frescas aren't always the single fruit kind. In fact, the most appealing to me occasionally weave in ingredients that aren't fruit at all, ingredients that take the idea of "soft drink" to a whole new level of refreshment. Which is what you will experience when you make this one: it offers a hint of melon-iness (without having any melon) from the cucumber and the backyard freshness of the herbs, and the deep tropical sweetness of the pineapple. Of course lime is the seasoning that brings it all together."

Agua Fresca Veraniega (Rick's Favorite Summer Soft Drink)
Adapted From Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless
(Makes 3 Quarts or Twelve 12-oz Glasses with Ice)

6 (about 1 1/4 lbs total) mini seedless or Persian cucumbers, peeled & roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
1 (about 3 1/2 lbs) medium pineapple, peeled, cored & cubed (generous 4 cups)
1/2 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
1/2 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, plus a little more if needed
1/4 cup sugar, plus a little more if needed
ice cubes (about 2 quarts-small ones are best)

In a blender combine all of the ingredients with 1 1/2 cups water. Blend until completely smooth. (If your blender isn't large enough to hold everything, blend in batches.) Pour into a large pitcher, then stir in 6 cups of water. Taste and add more lime or sugar if you think the drink needs it. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

The Roasted Garlic Guacamole is in the book as part of a "Luxury Guacamole Bar with Help Yourself Garnishes" (how awesome does that sound at a party?!) ;-) but I just wanted a simple bowl of guacamole goodness and this one has a mellow garlic flavor that makes it very scoopable on its own.

Roasted Garlic Guacamole
Adapted from Fiesta at Ricks by Rick Bayless
(Makes 4 Cups)

6 garlic cloves 
6 medium-large (2 1/2 pounds) ripe avocados 
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus a little more if necessary 

In a small dry skillet over medium heat, roast the unpeeled garlic until it is soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then slip off the papery skins and finely chop.  

Cut around each avocado from stem to blossom end and back up again, then twist the halves apart. Dislodge the pit and scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Add the garlic, cilantro and lime. Coarsely mash everything together.  

Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Scoop into its serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Notes/Results: Two more winning recipes from Rick. The agua fresca is refreshing and a great combination of flavors. I made two very small changes to the recipe, leaving the peels on my unwaxed mini cucumbers and swapping out the sugar for two tablespoons of local honey. I drank this today both diluted with the water and also full strength as more of a green juice drink. Both ways tasted great and I will try a little coconut rum with my next serving.

I made a half-batch of the guacamole but kept the garlic amount the same because I loves me some garlic. the roasting in the pan makes it nice and mellow and still allows the avocado to shine through. I was going to make my own tortilla chips as I did for the last batch of Tangy Green Guacamole but it was humid today and I was not in the mood to fire up the oven, so just used a purchased multi-grain tortilla chip. Still delicious. I will make both of these recipes again.

You can check out how all the IHCC participants are celebrating their 5th of May by following the links here.

***Cookbook and Apron Giveaway: If you are in the U.S. or Canada, don't forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of a great cookbook: FoodTrients: Age-Defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life by Grace O and a fun FoodTrients apron. Details for entering and my review of the book are here.



  1. This drink surely looks refreshing..

  2. Very inviting and cooling drink and the guacamole looks fab. I love garlic in my food too :D

  3. I have a long run to go on today and I'm thinking that drink would be the quintessential refreshment when I get home!  

  4. This drink sounds so refreshing - beautiful pictures!

  5. I just found your site on so I thought I would stop by and take a peek. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

  6. I'll be in line for that luxury guac bar.  And I could use the agua fresca today.

  7. Such a refreshing looking and sounding agua fresca. I know I'll be trying that before too long. And OHEMGEE.  I want that bowl of glorious guac all for myself - AWESOME!

  8. Roasted garlic gauc sounds so good right now!

  9. Deb - You are really making me hungry for guacamole, especially this version with all the garlic.  It sounds and looks outstanding. 

    Love your drink too (it reminds me of all the Saturday Sippers you used to make).  It looks gorgeous and sounds very refreshing. 

  10.  Thanks Kim! I was thinking I might have to go back to my Simple Saturday Sippers posts for the warmer weather. ;-)

  11.  This is a good one Heather--I can see why it's Rick's favorite. ;-)

  12. Yum! can I celebrate with you that guacamole looks awesome and the Agua Fresca is looking pretty good right now also = )

  13. Oh my those drinks look wonderful!  Not to mention the roasted garlic in guacamole!!  Why didn't I ever think of that?

  14.  I love that you double the garlic! A gal after my own heart. Looks wonderful, we are huge guac fans and Rick certainly has a lot of varieties of it.
    The drinks look really pretty and super-refreshing. I am going to have to try them as soon as the real heat hits Canada.


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