All you need are 3 ingredients to make this sweet and refreshing Agua de Tamarindo (also known as a Tamarindo Drink). Fresh tamarind pods are easily transformed from a sticky fruit into your new favorite drink!
This refreshing agua de tamarindo is a common and loved Mexican drink! It’s sweet and tart, a great alternative to soda, and is absolutely delicious!
I love that this recipe only requires 3 ingredients. It’s easy to move through the process and turn the sticky tamarind fruit into a tasty agua fresca.
What is Agua de Tamarindo?
Agua de tamarindo (or tamarind drink) is a Mexican drink made from tamarind, water, and sugar. It’s a tart and sweet agua fresca that’s balanced with a touch of sugar and some water.
You can usually find the drink sold at restaurants, by street vendors, at fairs, and outdoor markets in Mexico and the U.S..
Tamarind fruit has many health benefits and contains a variety of vitamins. It also contains antioxidants that can support heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Learn more about tamarind here.
Where to find tamarind pods
Tamarind pods are fairly common in most Mexican grocery stores and can be found near the spices or dried chiles.
If you can’t find any near you, you can order them online on Amazon.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Tamarind pods – These pods come straight from the tamarind tree. You can find them at most Mexican markets or in some larger grocery stores. I highly recommend making this drink out of the fresh pods rather than the ready-made tamarind paste for the best possible flavor.
- Water – To dilute the tamarind pulp and balance the flavors. Add a fun fizz to this recipe by replacing still water with club soda or seltzer.
- Sugar – Use regular granulated white sugar or raw cane sugar. You could also use a liquid sugar alternative, like simple syrup or agave.
How to Make Agua de Tamarindo
Step 1: Peel the tamarind pods by removing and discarding the hard shells from the outside of the tamarind pods as well as the fibers and strings on the inside.
Step 2: Boil the peeled tamarind pods for 8 minutes and then let them sit the pot from the heat until completely cooled, about 2 to 3 hours.
Step 3: Use your hands to squeeze out the seeds from the cooked tamarind pods. Discard the seeds and any remaining fibers or strings.
Step 4: Once you’ve removed all the seeds and any strings from the liquid, pour it and the pulp into a large blender and puree until smooth. Then strain it in a large pitcher.
Step 5: Add sugar to the pitcher.
Step 6: Add water to the pitcher.
Step 7: Stir everything together to combine, taste, and sweeten with more sugar if necessary. Serve over lots of ice and enjoy!
More Aguas Frescas
There are many different flavors of aguas frescas made from fruits, teas, and even rice! Here are some more varieties:
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re not a fan of sweet drinks, I recommend starting with 3/4 cup of sugar, then adding more to taste. However, I find that less than 3/4 cup of sugar in the pitcher is not enough and leaves the drink a little too sour for my taste.
- Too strong? Add more water if the tamarindo drink is too concentrated.
- Settling may occur. Stir the drink in the pitcher before serving to break up any solids that may have settled on the bottom.
- Mix it up! Squeeze a little lime juice into each glass when serving to brighten up the flavor.
- Make it a cocktail! Feel free to add 1 to 1.5 ounces of tequila or vodka into your glass for a tasty cocktail!
Make it ahead of time
A pitcher can be made 1 or 2 days ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve, and pour over lots of ice!