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How to Make Pineapple-Parsley Agua Fresca

Intrepid culinary explorer and Mexican street food expert Lesley Téllez shares her secrets for making this ultra-refreshing fruit drink.

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Photo: ALTA23

Sweet Sips

"Every market in Mexico City has a juice-milkshake stand where they make drinks from scratch," says Téllez. Moving to the city after leaving a newspaper job in Dallas, she found the abundance a revelation. "Mexican beverages are super-varied and seasonal, and very fresh. I didn't realize the depth that existed." New to the area and without a car, she crisscrossed the city on foot. "That's when I saw all the food everyone ate on the street. It was woven into the fabric of the city," she says. Her curiosity turned into a blog, which turned into a culinary tour company, which turned into her first book, Eat Mexico. In it, Téllez celebrates the vivid flavors of the tamales, tlacoyos, enchiladas and other street foods she loves making and eating. Here's her take on an agua fresca, the popular fruit-and-water drink, as she demonstrated on a recent visit to our Food Network Kitchen.

Photography by Heather Ramsdell

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Photo: Heather Ramsdell ©

Start Fresh

"Pineapple is so sweet and juicy; it makes the perfect drink. Using fresh pineapple is key," says Téllez, filling up the carafe of a blender with cut-up chunks. Some aguas frescas include herbs. "In this case, the parsley is a digestif."

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Photo: Heather Ramsdell ©

Add Water

"Use less rather than more at first," Téllez counsels. "You don't know how juicy your fruit will be."

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Photo: Heather Ramsdell ©

Blend Until Smooth

"Part of the culture of Mexico is to eat fresh fruit and fresh juice," says Téllez, who grew up in California and discovered Mexican cuisine as an adult. "Aguas frescas are made with seasonal fruit — but a lot of the fruit in Mexico is in season year-round."

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