5 Ingredients or Fewer

Refreshing Summer Licuado

June 28, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 1 quart
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Mint Water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup tightly packed mint leaves (about 25 to 30 large leaves)
  • 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. Mint Water
  2. 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.
  1. Refreshing Summer Licuado
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gibson2011
  • Karen Habbestad
    Karen Habbestad
  • lapadia
  • Evie
  • ChefJune
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

72 Reviews

Gibson2011 August 2, 2014
My neighbor is growing tons of mint right now and I've been lucky enough to be able to help myself to as much as I want. Mint water here I come.
Karen H. August 2, 2014
This sounds really good!

I have a question...
When a recipes call for fresh mint, rarely do they specify what kind of mint they are calling for. Is it Peppermint? Spearmint? Watermint?
hardlikearmour August 2, 2014
I think the default is spearmint when a recipe doesn't specify. I've used spearmint and orange mint in this recipe successfully.
Karen H. August 2, 2014
Thank you so much! :-).
Chris V. August 3, 2014
You can use spearmint or peppermint in any recipe- depends on the flavor profile you want. Spearmint has a more intense flavor, while peppermint is sweeter and creates a cooling sensation. I usually use spearmint to pair with lamb and peppermint for desserts. I made this with peppermint and loved it, but spearmint will also get the job done. Orange mint sounds great with this, too!
Karen H. August 3, 2014
Thanks Chris!
lapadia July 24, 2013
Congrats on the Runner up, HLA!!
hardlikearmour July 25, 2013
Thanks, lapadia! I don't mind being runner-up to such a lovely recipe and person!
Evie July 22, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 23, 2013
Thank you! I love it when people take an idea and run with it.
ejm July 21, 2013
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!
hardlikearmour July 21, 2013
Thank you!! Definitely let me know how it works with almonds.
ChefJune July 19, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 19, 2013
I haven't tested it with coconut milk, but Hilarybee has! It's definitely on my "to do" list.
LeBec F. July 23, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 23, 2013
Thank you, LBF!
fiveandspice July 19, 2013
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!
hardlikearmour July 19, 2013
Thanks! I'm sure you're craving all sorts of crazy things this summer!
fiveandspice July 20, 2013
Mostly just milkshakes, hehe! :)
hardlikearmour July 20, 2013
Hehe! I don't need a bun in the oven to crave milkshakes!!
Waverly July 19, 2013
Sounds so good - congratulations!
hardlikearmour July 19, 2013
Thank you!
mangetout July 19, 2013
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!
vvvanessa July 19, 2013
Oh noes! I am using a computer that isn't mine and didn't log out of the other account. But it's me : )
hardlikearmour July 19, 2013
Yum! Jersey milk! I've accidentally posted under my husband's account, so no worries.
Chris V. July 18, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Wow! You've made my day. Funny coincidence: I tested both coconut finalist in the coconut contest!
JanetFL July 18, 2013
Congratulations! Fabulous drink!
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thank you! I bet it would be even better in hot, humid FL!
JanetFL July 20, 2013
We've had some fairly hot days here though dry and not at all humid. This definitely hits the spot! Thanks again!
hardlikearmour July 20, 2013
Madhuja July 18, 2013
Congratulations, HLA! We drink a lot of smoothies over the summer and I cannot wait to try this version!
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thank you! I hope you like it -- I think it's more refreshing than most smoothies.
Hilarybee July 18, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
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?
Hilarybee July 19, 2013
I used the carton kind, unsweetened, from Trader Joe's. It's actually a shelf stable carton.
Hilarybee July 19, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 19, 2013
Thanks for the great feedback!
EmilyC July 18, 2013
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! : )
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thank you! I'll never get tired of hearing that someone likes my recipe!
gingerroot July 18, 2013
Yippee! Congrats! I'm thrilled this is a finalist - one of our favorite summer drinks.
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thank you! I love it on sweltering days, and I'm sure you get plenty in Hawaii.
cookinginvictoria July 18, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thank you! Love the idea of apricots and cherries, too!
mrslarkin July 18, 2013
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.
hardlikearmour July 18, 2013
Thanks for the lovely testing notes!
JanetFL July 5, 2013
I can't complain about the heat....but I can certainly compliment this drink! Thank you@
hardlikearmour July 6, 2013
Thank you! If the FL stood for Florida you probably could complain about the heat ;-)
JanetFL July 6, 2013
It does but I'm fortunate to spend summer and fall in Colorado!
Waverly July 5, 2013
This sounds wonderful!
hardlikearmour July 5, 2013
Thank you, Waverly!
mrslarkin July 5, 2013
It's the dog days of summer here in NY. Can't wait to cool off with this!
hardlikearmour July 5, 2013
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.