Wildcrafted Agua Fresca
I created the menu for my July workshop around the theme of a taco party. Creating agua fresca out of wild ingredients seemed like a natural fit, and they were particularly welcome on that 100˚ day. For the class, I made three varieties - rose/cherry, linden/pineapple, and pineapple weed/coconut water.
These three flavor combinations are simply a jumping off point. This is a concept you could take in a million directions. Use whatever wildcrafted goods you have on hand and enjoy. The basic concept is to make a strong infusion of the wild component from either fresh or dried materials. I usually fill a quart jar about 1/3 of the way (loosely) with the wild materials, then top it off with boiling water, and let it infuse until it comes back to room temperature. From there, I strain out the solids and combine the infusion with an approximately equal amount of the second element, generally a fruit juice. Chill thoroughly, and enjoy wild aguas frescas over ice. For the purpose of creating these recipes, I used the pineapple juice and coconut water in the sizes commonly found in the stores. There's a lot of wiggle room in amounts you can use in these recipes, however. Make them to taste. The important thing is that the wild portion has a strong flavor, so that they stand up to the second element.
Rose and Sour Cherry Agua Fresca
32 oz. wild rose infusion
8 oz. sour cherry juice
sweetener to taste
Linden Flower and Pineapple Juice Agua Fresca
32 oz. linden flower infusion
46 oz. pineapple juie
Pineapple Weed and Coconut Water Agua Fresca*
32 oz. pineapple weed infusion
33.8 oz. coconut water
*Inspired by Ellen Zachos pineapple weed cordial and coconut water cocktail, which you will be able to see in her book the Wildcrafted Cocktail, Spring 2017.