Beverages

Refreshing Summer Licuado

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Licuados are blended milk and fruit beverages that originated in Mexico. They are like a smoothie, but definitely lighter and more thirst-quenching. My version is loosely based on Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s recipe for Fresh Fruit Liquados found in Mesa Mexicana. It combines quintessential summer fruit with mint so it is especially refreshing. The fruit flavor comes through first, but the mint definitely makes itself known. Feel free to switch up the fruit to whatever is in season, or whatever is in your freezer — you will want to add about 2 to 2 1/2 cups total. Don’t hesitate to scale up the mint water recipe so you have enough for several batches — it’ll keep refrigerated for several days, or frozen for much longer. I bet it would make a nice addition to a pitcher of iced green tea or lemonade as well.
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed mint leaves (about 25 to 30 large leaves)
  • 1 ripe to slightly over-ripe peach, peeled and sliced
  • 20 raspberries
  • 1 cup mint water
  • 1 cup whole milk (plus extra if needed)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey

Instructions:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pan. Remove from heat and add the mint leaves. Stir briefly, then cover the pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture into a measuring cup, pressing the leaves in the strainer to extract as much water as possible. Add enough water to equal 1 cup of mint water. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  2. If your fruit is fresh: Peel the peach then slice it and freeze it in a single layer on parchment. Freeze the raspberries in a single layer on parchment as well. This can be done while you’re making and chilling the mint water.
  3. Combine all ingredients in blender, starting with 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup milk. Pulse several times, then blend for 10 seconds. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if needed. Add a bit more milk if needed to thin. Blend 5 to 10 more seconds, until smooth and no chunks of fruit remain. Serve immediately, with a sprig of mint and/or a raspberry as garnish if desired. Savor the light fruit flavor, and refreshing mint taste.

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