Walk into many Mexican restaurants, and you will find a variety of aguas frescas on the menu to accompany your tacos. These sweet, traditional beverages are made from fruits like tamarind or guava, grains and nuts like rice or almonds, or from flowers like hibiscus. Inspired by these drinks, San Francisco’s Hard Frescos Brewing Co. launched a line of frescos in 2013 that are brewed with natural ingredients and fermented with a blend of fruits, extracts, and yeast, introducing a new libation to the craft beverage market.
These alcoholic frescos come in three truly refreshing flavors: Juicy Jamaica (Hibiscus), Guava Citrico, and Tangy Tamarindo. The jamaica is definitely juicy, and the hibiscus gives it a deep pink color. Although it’s sweet, it’s still light on the palate. The guava pours with a heavenly aroma of navel oranges, and drinks clean, with a touch of tropical flavor on the end. The tamarindo is the driest of the bunch but still carries a punch of flavor. Mix it 1:1 with Mexican beer and serve with a lime to create a lively Mexican shandy.
In addition to being easy-to-drink, Hard Frescos come in at only 5.7% alcohol. They are also considered gluten-free, even though a small amount of malt is added to the recipes to categorize them as “malt beverages.” Brand new to the Inland Northwest, and only available on the Idaho side, you can grab some cans for the trail, lake, or road at Pilgrim’s Market in Coeur d’Alene, Enoteca in Post Falls, and The Beverage Stop in Rathdrum. You can also enjoy a sparkling glass of fresco with your meal at Nadine’s Mexican Kitchen in Rathdrum, The Hound in Sandpoint, and Panhandle Pizza in Priest River. Salud! //
Michal Bennett is a regular Buzz Bin contributor. She also wrote about state flowers and birds in July.