Fruit juices in the US are often seen as either a kid’s drink or as a component for cocktails (cranberry g&t, I’ve got my eye on you), whereas other countries rely on fruit juice as an alternative to water — there is a fruit juice stand with all fruits in every color for each corner in Syria (or there was…) and India is also known for fruit juice vendors.
Agua fresca is a Mexican invention that also fully appreciates the cooling, refreshing power of fruit. It is a slightly sweet and super refreshing drink – perfect to cool off from the heat of the day or a spicy meal. Fortunately, aguas frescas are slowly gaining popularity in the States (Califia Farms recently released a line of aguas frescas including “Kiwi Cactus” that I’d love to try).
My family has always drank a lot of tea – growing up in an old house with a woodstove, you need something hot to hold onto and sip. One of our favorites is Constant Comment, a spicy orange black tea. This is my version using oven-dried Satsuma Mandarins – use oranges if you like – and mixed with warming spices cinnamon, clove, and black pepper.
I feel guilty turning on the heat here in CA. It’s not that cold but it sure does fool you, especially in the foggy mornings when there’s none of that warm sun. That is, with lack of contrast to actual cold.
I end up drinking a lot of hot drinks to keep warm – tea and coffee, mostly. But a spicy masala chai – made of a mixture of tea, spices, sweetener and milk – is a cozy, warm-yourself-up kinda drink, perfect for fall.