Icy cold drinks, popsicles and ice cream are sure to please during these August and September hottest days of the year. Most of us are familiar with the Thrifty ice cream stores, but it seems that only locals are familiar with the Michoacana shops. We newcomers to Mexico are missing out on the very special tradition of fruity popsicles and icy cold aguas, sweetened infusions made from fruits, flowers, even nuts, locally prepared daily, and served in large cups with lots of ice…So refreshing!
Often recognizable by their pink lettering, there are several Michoacana shops in different parts of Puerto Peñasco. The largest of the shops is in the downtown business district at the opposite end of the block from TelMex. I always figure that if there is a parking place in front of the Michoacana when I am downtown, then it is my happy destiny for the day to have an agua. The people who work there are friendly, helpful, and more than willing to let you taste a drink before you buy, so don’t be shy about trying new flavors!
There are two “drink shops” in Sonoita, one located on the right side of the road just past the bridge as you are heading south, and the other almost directly across the highway as you turn left from the Peñasco highway to head back to the USA. Those are good places to buy thirst quenchers for your trip, heading either north or south.
While in Puerto Peñasco, you might want to try making your own agua de jamaica from dried hibiscus flowers, which can be bought in bulk at Super Ley in the produce department, at the fruit and vegetable market, or in packages at Sam’s Club and some pharmacies. Add 1 cup of packed hibiscus flowers to a gallon of room temperature water, and place in sun, leaving to steep until the water is colored rich ruby red. Remove the flowers from the water, strain to remove the plant residue (I use a coffee filter in a strainer for this), add sweetener to taste, and serve in tall glasses over ice. I’m told that besides being delicious, this brew has all the qualities of cranberry juice, is loaded with anti-oxidants, and is very healthy! You might even consider switching from beer to agua de jamaica, right? Silly me…still, it’s good – try it – I think you’ll like it!