Refreshing Summer Licuado

By • June 28, 2012 • 72 Comments


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Author Notes: 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.hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: WHO: When hardlikearmour isn't baking cakes, she's beach combing, mushroom hunting, or…baking cakes.
WHAT: A Mexican version of a smoothie that's lighter, brighter, herb-infused, and completely customizable.
HOW: Freeze your favorite summer fruit and blend with minty water, honey, and milk. Sip on a porch or by a pool.
WHY WE LOVE IT: When it's so hot that it seems like nothing can satisfy our thirst, we feel better (read: cooler) knowing that we can rely on this drink. And you can make it in a snap -- but it's the addition of mint-infused water that really makes this drink extraordinary.
A&M

Makes about 1 quart

Mint Water

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed mint leaves (about 25 to 30 large leaves)
  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.

Refreshing Summer Licuado

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Comments (72) Questions (0)

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9 months ago lapadia

Congrats on the Runner up, HLA!!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, lapadia! I don't mind being runner-up to such a lovely recipe and person!

Calcots1

9 months ago EvieS

Love the idea of using mint-infused water. Just picked 4 pounds of raspberries so I'm definitely making this. Like the fact you've sparked everyone into thinking of the other possibilities for this recipe. Well done.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! I love it when people take an idea and run with it.

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9 months ago ejm

SOOOO good and refreshing, you have my vote. have made this a few times already, added almonds today, tomorrow goinh for nelon and nectarine.... thanks!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you!! Definitely let me know how it works with almonds.

Junechamp

9 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hmmm I bet it would be good with coconut milk. And that way I could have it. Somehow rice milk didn't sound quite right.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I haven't tested it with coconut milk, but Hilarybee has! It's definitely on my "to do" list.

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9 months ago LE BEC FIN

that's a terrif idea, june. HLA, i love that you introduce a new technique in this recipe; it just makes it that much more special and vote-worthy.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, LBF!

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations Sarah! This looks so delicious - and perfect for those of us who both have to drink NA beverages this summer, and find ourselves craving milkshakes and the like every day!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! I'm sure you're craving all sorts of crazy things this summer!

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mostly just milkshakes, hehe! :)

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Hehe! I don't need a bun in the oven to crave milkshakes!!

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9 months ago Waverly

Sounds so good - congratulations!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you!

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9 months ago mangetout

So great to be in the finals with you again, hardlikearmour! I will be scooping up mint, raspberries, and some Jersey milk at the farmers' market this weekend!

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9 months ago vvvanessa

Oh noes! I am using a computer that isn't mine and didn't log out of the other account. But it's me : )

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yum! Jersey milk! I've accidentally posted under my husband's account, so no worries.

Toronto

9 months ago Chris Van Houten

Yay! I actally tested both of the finalists in the fresh herbs contest. Both are great recipes, but my vote goes to this licuado. It's fruity, creamy, thirst-quenching, and irresistibly refreshing. With the days as hot as they are in the Midwest right now, I'm making another batch tonight.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Wow! You've made my day. Funny coincidence: I tested both coconut finalist in the coconut contest!

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9 months ago JanetFL

Congratulations! Fabulous drink!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! I bet it would be even better in hot, humid FL!

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9 months ago JanetFL

We've had some fairly hot days here though dry and not at all humid. This definitely hits the spot! Thanks again!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

:-)

Spiceroute

9 months ago Madhuja

Congratulations, HLA! We drink a lot of smoothies over the summer and I cannot wait to try this version!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! I hope you like it -- I think it's more refreshing than most smoothies.

Hilary_sp1

9 months ago Hilarybee

I'm excited, I love this recipe! It works really well with coconut milk, too. I've tried it both ways- with whole milk and with coconut milk. Both very pleasing drinks.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Hb! I was wondering about making it dairy free, so glad to hear it works. Did you use the canned coconut milk, or the refrigerated kind in a carton?

Hilary_sp1

9 months ago Hilarybee

I used the carton kind, unsweetened, from Trader Joe's. It's actually a shelf stable carton.

Hilary_sp1

9 months ago Hilarybee

Also, this works really great with musk melon. I didn't have peaches yesterday, but had lots of melon. It is hot, hot, hot! So I wanted to make this for dessert. I used regular milk for this one, it was delicious.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks for the great feedback!

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9 months ago EmilyC

Yay! I'm so happy to see this as a finalist! I love this drink. I think you already know that given my comment last summer, but just in case, I'll tell you again! : )

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! I'll never get tired of hearing that someone likes my recipe!

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9 months ago gingerroot

Yippee! Congrats! I'm thrilled this is a finalist - one of our favorite summer drinks.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! I love it on sweltering days, and I'm sure you get plenty in Hawaii.

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9 months ago cookinginvictoria

Hooray, Sara -- so happy to see this as a finalist!
I was a tester too. We all loved this drink -- children and adults alike. Happy to share my notes:

I love making smoothies in the summer, but after testing this recipe, I may become a licuado convert! This thirst-quenching, not-too-sweet creamy drink is the perfect tonic for sunny, hot weather with its cold fruity flavors. I especially liked Hardlikearmour’s technique for infusing the drink with fresh mint by making mint water. The fragrant mint adds zest, but does not overpower the fruit. I made this recipe with peaches and raspberries, as the recipe specified, and couldn't stop drinking it. I am already thinking of other fruit combinations for my next licuado—maybe apricots and cherries. A splash of rum would also turn this into a wonderful, dinner-party worthy summer cocktail.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! Love the idea of apricots and cherries, too!

Mrs._larkin_370

9 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay! I had a feeling....

Here are my testing notes:

Harlikearmour’s Refreshing Summer Licuado seamlessly blends (literally and figuratively) summer fruit in a glass. A cool, quaffable, thirst slaking concoction with a welcome hint of mint, perfect for a sultry summer morning, afternoon, or evening. Sip it on the back deck while listening to the summer cicadas. I’m heading back in for a refill.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks for the lovely testing notes!

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9 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on being a finalist, this is a fabulous and refreshing drink. the mint water is such a wonderful addition.

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you!!!

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9 months ago JanetFL

I can't complain about the heat....but I can certainly compliment this drink! Thank you@

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you! If the FL stood for Florida you probably could complain about the heat ;-)

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9 months ago JanetFL

It does but I'm fortunate to spend summer and fall in Colorado!

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9 months ago Waverly

This sounds wonderful!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, Waverly!

Mrs._larkin_370

9 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

It's the dog days of summer here in NY. Can't wait to cool off with this!

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9 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

We had a brush with the dog days here, but luckily it's passed (for now)! Hope you enjoy -- the mint definitely makes it seem cooling.

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

Just finished one of these -- wowza! So light and refreshing, and the mint water is such a clever way to incorporate mint into a drink. (LOVE the fact that it's not a simple syrup, allowing you to control the amount of sweetness without compromising the minty flavor!) I can't wait to make one of these for my son, who's sure to love it. (BTW, I'm planning to make your grape and brie barley salad this weekend since I have leftover barley from making lemon mint barley water earlier today.)

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thrilled to hear it! It's really hot and humid here, so a licuado sounds perfect.