Agua de piña, or pineapple water, is the perfect mix between sweet, tropical, and refreshing. This 3-ingredient recipe is quickly going to become your new favorite way to cool off after a day in the sun!
Although we enjoy a glass of pineapple water throughout the year, this sweet and refreshing drink is best for the summertime.
With plenty of ways to customize this recipe, you're going to find yourself trying it over and over again!
What is it?
Agua fresca translates to "fresh water" or "cool water." Different variations are made by mixing fresh, seasonal fruit with water and sometimes sweetener.
This agua de piña recipe is made by combining fresh pineapple, water, and cane sugar.
The history of aguas frescas goes back way before Mexico city became what it is today.
It is said that Aztecs would travel from their farmlands to Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City) in order to buy goods for their villages.
Along the way, they would collect berries and muddle them with water to create refreshing and hydrating drinks for their voyage.
Fast forward to the present day and you can find aguas frescas at virtually every street corner, taqueria, and home in Mexico.
How to choose a pineapple
Since it's the main ingredient, choosing a delicious pineapple is of the utmost importance. If you haven't purchased one before, this is what you should look out for:
- Color: the exterior should be greenish-yellow. If it appears quite brown, the fruit is starting to break down.
- Squeeze: look for a pineapple that gives in a little (not too much) when you lightly squeeze the outside.
- Fronds: if you give a light pull on the fronds (the long leaves at the top of the pineapple), they should pull out easily.
- Smell: ripe pineapples smell amazing! You're looking for a sweet, tropical fragrance.
- Weight: if the pineapple feels heavy for its size, that's a good indication it will be full of juicy flavor!
Following all of these easy steps will give you the best and most consistent tasting pineapple agua fresca!
How to cut pineapple
So you've picked out the perfect pineapple, but how the heck do you cut it? Choose a sharp knife and follow these steps:
- Top & bottom: lay the pineapple down lengthwise and slice off the top and the bottom portions.
- Remove the skin: stand the pineapple up vertically on a flat surface and begin cutting top-to-bottom to remove the skin. Once the bulk of it is gone, you can use finer slicing motions to remove the smaller pieces of skin.
- Slice it: keeping the pineapple vertical, cut it down the center, then lay each half flat and cut it in half again to make quarters.
- Cut into chunks: take each pineapple spear and cut it into chunks.
- Note: you can slice away the tougher core if you are just going to eat the pineapple, but it's not necessary for this recipe.
Now that you're a pineapple-cutting expert, you'll be able to make pineapple water quickly and easily whenever you feel like some!
Serve your agua de piña over ice on a hot summer day. If you prefer a sweeter drink, simply add more of your favorite sweetener to each individual glass.
We sometimes like to add a squeeze of lime, some fresh ginger, or coconut water in place of plain water.
If you feel like getting a bit tipsy, serve your drinks with vodka, rum, or tequila for a more grown-up version. You could also mix it with sparkling water for a special occasion.
The beauty of this pineapple agua fresca is how many customizations there are to try! Plus, it's naturally vegan, gluten-free, and can be easily made without sugar.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: with a mixture of citrus and apple notes, perfectly ripe pineapple is extremely sweet and tropical tasting. Pineapple grows natively in Mexico, so it's an easy choice to make a refreshing, summery drink with.
Health: if your tummy feels good after eating pineapple, it's not a coincidence. Pineapple contains a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain. These enzymes work to break down proteins, which promotes a healthier digestive system.
Fun fact: not only does it take up to 2-3 years for a pineapple plant to mature, but that plant can only produce 1 pineapple at a time.
Taste: in order to sweeten up this pineapple water, you can use cane sugar, agave, or even stevia to create a well-rounded and delicious end result.
Health: while many demonize sugar and other sweeteners, we have always promoted moderation. Although not a "health food," consuming sweeteners in small amounts every once in a while is not the end of the world!
Fun fact: sugar has been around for over 10,000 years! It was first used for its medicinal benefits (in combination with fruits and spices) to make syrups, powders, and spice mixtures.
If you have questions about this pineapple water recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: add chopped pineapple to a blender with some water and a sweetener of your choosing (cane sugar, agave, stevia, etc). You can add any of the optional ingredients at this point too like fresh ginger, lime, or coconut water.
Step 2: blend on high until no chunks remain and the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetener to your preferences, then strain the mixture into a bowl, jar, or pitcher to remove the pulp.
Step 3: transfer what's left of the mixture to your fridge to chill, or serve it immediately over ice. Happy drinking!
If you make a large batch of this pineapple agua fresca, don't fret! Follow the steps below to keep things fresh:
Keep your pineapple water in an airtight jar or pitcher in the fridge for up 2-3 days. We prefer storing ours in glass because it doesn't leak any random flavors into the drink, but use whatever you have on hand.
Agua de piña stores in the freezer for up to 1 year if you use a freezer-safe container. When thawing it, you may notice a slight change in texture and taste, but it actually keeps very well. If it looks separated, give it a quick blend before serving again.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this agua de piña recipe:
- Make it sugar-free. We usually add stevia in place of the sugar to make a lower-calorie recipe.
- Add citrus. Try adding lemon, lime, or orange to your pineapple water to change up the flavors.
- Save the pulp. To prevent waste, save the leftover pulp for a smoothie or some baking.
- Make sure it's ripe. If your pineapple isn't ripe, you'll lose all the sweet flavor, so be patient!
🍴 Tasting notes
We love making pineapple water for an afternoon pick-me-up and summertime drink. It's:
If you try making this agua de piña recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Agua de Piña
- Knife & cutting board
- Pitcher or jar
- ½ medium fresh pineapple, peeled and cubed ($0.63)
- 1 liter water ($0.01)
- 3-4 tbsp cane sugar or agave ($0.01)
- ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 1-2 tbsp lime juice
- 1-2 cups coconut water
- First, peel and roughly cut the pineapple into chunks.
- Add the pineapple to a blender with water and sweetener of choice (cane sugar, agave, etc). You can add in optional ingredients at this point too like fresh ginger, lime, or coconut water in place of plain water.
- Blend on high until no chunks remain and the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust the sweetener to your preferences.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl, jar, or pitcher to remove some of the pulp.
- Transfer to your fridge to chill, or serve immediately over ice. Happy drinking!
- The weight of the ½ pineapple we used was 615g with the skin on.
- Stevia makes a great replacement if you want to have a sugar-free agua de piña. For reference, 2 tbsp cane sugar is equal to 1 typical packet of powdered stevia (or an 8:1 ratio).
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty aguas frescas recipes, check out our:
- Horchata for a creamy, refreshing, rice-based agua fresca.
- Agua de tamarindo if you're looking for tangy, sweet, and uniquely flavored drink.
- Agua de sandia to enjoy sweet and juicy watermelon blended into a refreshing and hydrating drink.
- Agua de Jamaica for a sweet, tart, and thirst-quenching hibiscus iced tea.
We use a Vitamix, so in reality, we don't really need to strain our pineapple water. If you don't have a high-powered blender, it's best to strain it.
Pineapple water is a low-calorie and healthy drink you can enjoy throughout the day. If you're going to be making it often, we recommend using a low-calorie sweetener like Stevia.
If you don't have any fresh pineapple, try using equal amounts of canned or thawed frozen pineapple. You may need to adjust the sweetness level if you use canned pineapple.