Chicago is hot this summer. I don’t know if it is because I have now lived in the midwest for 4 years (4! Years!) and haven’t experienced a months worth of 100+ temps, or just that I am out enjoying summer more this time around with marathon training, weekly beach volleyball games, and traveling by bike wherever possible but…Chicago is hot this summer.
But the best thing about hot summers, are cold refreshing drinks. Sure, I got into iced coffee last year but this year it is all about the agua frescas. A few weeks ago it was watermelon lemonade (seriously, you must try this NOW) and now it is pineapple ginger aqua frescas. I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and the next day pineapples were on sale at my local grocery store for $1. I made a batch last monday for a few friends to celebrate NOT taking the Bar this time around.
I also ran my 2nd Half-Marathon on Sunday and could have used a big glass of this at the end. Cold. Refreshing. Quick Glucose. Delicious.
Pineapple Ginger Agua Frescas
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit: July 2010
5 cups of 1-inch cubes peeled ripe pineapple (from 1 large pineapple)
4 cups water, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons (or more) grated peeled fresh ginger
Optional: vodka, gin or sparkling wine for a boozy option; I really enjoyed mine with a little Tanqueray.
Puree pineapple, 1 cup water, and sugar in blender in batches until smooth. Pour into 8-cup measuring cup or pitcher. Mix in 3 cups cold water and 2 teaspoons ginger. Cover; chill until cold, about 4 hours. (I only gave it around 2 hours and it was fine.) Strain pineapple mixture into pitcher, pressing on solids in strainer. My fine mesh strainer is a little too fine for this so use something bigger if you have it. Add more ginger to taste. Fill tall glasses with ice (and booze if you are like that, and I’m like that). Pour pineapple-ginger aqua fresca over the ice. Cheers!