5 Agua Fresca recipes

Few drinks offer a refreshing and delicious way to quench your thirst on a summer day as a cold agua fresca (fresh water).

While these fruit drinks are wonderful right out of the blender, making them a few hours in advance allows the flavors to intensify and the drinks to get colder as they mellow in the refrigerator. If the drink starts to separate, just stir with a spoon.

Altough fruit options are almost limitless, here are some of our favorite drinks:

Agua de Sandia (Watermelon water)

agua de sandiaUsing sweet watermelon pieces in this skinny variety of agua fresca makes sugar an optional add-in, so it’s low-calorie and delicious.

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 pounds of watermelon (rind removed), seeded and chopped into a 1-inch cube.

Purée the watermelon and water in a blender until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Agua de Piña (Pineapple water)

agua de piñaA nip of fresh mint rounds out the acidity of this refreshing chiller. Showcase it on your summer cook out menu as a skinny, booze-free substitute for a piña colada.

  • 3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Purée the pineapple and water in a blender until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Add the chopped mint and stir before serving. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Agua de Pepino (Cucumber water)

agua de pepinoThis unique, low-calorie take on agua fresca will dance on your taste buds when you add tangy, sparkling water.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups peeled English cucumber slices (about 1 medium cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 cups lime-flavored sparkling water, chilled

Blend the cucumber, sugar and water, add the lime, crushed ice and sparkling water. Stir before serving.

Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind Water)

agua de tamarindoTamarind, also known as “Indian Date,” is a legume that’s native to Africa but grown throughout the world in tropical climates, including Latin America. The tart-tasting seed is the star of this popular fruit water drink from Mexico.

  • 1 1/2 pounds of dried tamarind
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of sugar

Place the peeled tamarind in the water, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Using the back of a large serving spoon or a potato masher, gently press on the cooked tamarind pods to break them up a bit.  Discard the seeds (if you want) and sweeten the water with sugar for one delicious version of Agua de Tamarindo.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Water)

agua de jamaicaThe color and flavor of this water is similar to cranberry with a subtle tea flavor in the background. When it is served ice cold, the tea flavor is almost imperceptible. It is also loaded with Vitamin C, so it’s good for you too!

  • 2 oz dried Jamaica Hibiscus flowers
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 6 cups drinking water
  • Sugar to taste

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and pour over hibiscus flowers. Let the flowers soak in the water for about 20 minutes. Pour the liquid and flowers through a strainer into a large pitcher. Add in the sugar and stir for 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Pour in remaining water and taste for sweetness. Add more sugar or water if necessary.
Allow it to cool in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.

*Tip: add less water and more fruit and get fruit popsicles!

Don’t miss our promotions and special offers at The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres!

Posted in Culinary Experience, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finest Resorts: Excellence Group newest brand

Originally posted on Excellence Resorts Blog:

Excellence Group, known for luxury resort properties throughout the Caribbean, announces the creation of a third brand, Finest Resorts, to welcome guests of all ages.

Finest_Resorts
Cancun, Mexico/April 1, 2014/ — Five star-rated Caribbean luxury hotels and resorts, Excellence Group, announces Finest Resorts, its first property to be Finest Playa Mujeres located among the stunning white powder sands and turquoise waters of Playa Mujeres, Mexico. Finest Resorts is the long-awaited third brand from Excellence Group, which currently owns and operates Excellence Resorts and Beloved Hotels.

Finest Playa Mujeres will offer the same level of luxury and comfort as the highly recognized and awarded Excellence Resorts and Beloved Hotels, but will welcome and accommodate guests of all ages, including couples, mid-size groups and families, without any age restrictions. As with Excellence Resorts and Beloved Hotels, Finest Playa Mujeres will provide an idyllic backdrop for destination weddings. Finest Playa Mujeres…

View original 532 more words

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Chichen Itza Equinox

The Mayans were expert at predicting solar phenomena, such as eclipses, equinoxes and when the Sun reached its apex.

Mayan Observatory

As the Mayans believed that the will and actions of the Gods could be read in the stars, moon and planets, they dedicated much time studying, recording and interpreting every aspect of the sky. Therefore many of their most important buildings were constructed with astronomy in mind.

Mayan AstronomyThe Mayans succeeded in an almost impossible mission with the completion of their structures at Chichen Itza. A poetic combination of form, style, function, religion, philosophy, mathematics and geometry. A true symbiosis of all of their intelligence and art in one location, to be studied and admired by all that visit. By far the most impressive aspect of the Pyramid of Kukulcan is its relationship with the sun and how it reflects the equinoxes and solstices of our solar year with stunning accuracy (1).

Chichen_ItzaAs the equinox sun sets, a play of light and shadow creates the appearance of a snake that gradually undulates down the stairway of the pyramid. This diamond-backed snake is composed of seven or so triangular shadows, cast by the stepped terraces of the pyramid. The sinking sun seems to give life to the sinuous shadows, which make a decidedly snaky pattern on their way down the stairs.

Chichen Itza is considered a World Heritage Site and was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. This is definitely a must do when visiting The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres.

Continue the conversation also on our Facebook Page!

Posted in Beloved Wonders and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cheese Course: why at the end of the meal?

Are you a cheese lover but normally associate the taste of it as an appetizer? Have you ever wondered why restaurants offer cheese at the end of the meal rather than at the start?

Cheese
This is a holdover from European dining, where the cheese course is served after the mains, but before the dessert course. 
For us, this is the perfect placement for the cheese course, but you are free to order it elsewhere.

In france courses were originally adopted from russian culture were the cheese course was placed before the pudding so none of the flavours would be lost by a presweet course. Traditionally cheese was not served with bread but was to be enjoyed in its own merit. On a side note. There is also a correct way to eat a cheese course, you start with the least salty such as brie and camembert and work round to the most salty so none of the subtle flavour are lost. Italians will also frequently finish a meal with a platter of cheese and a plate of fruit, for the table; no pastry, cookies or cake.

Cheese Tasting

Many cheeses also go well with traditional after-dinner drinks such as port and brandy. This allows time to linger and finish the wine or have a digestif.

When visiting The Beloved Hotel, ask your waiter about  the best pairings with your favorite cheese.

Here you are 2 simple reasons to eat cheese after a meal:

It might sound unlikely, but one of the best and easiest ways to combat acid erosion in your teeth is to eat a piece of cheese after every meal. Cheese contains alkali, which neutralises the acid left by the food you’ve consumed; drinks such as Coca-Cola, and sweet foods such as cakes and biscuits, are particularly acidic, so eating cheese after these will be effective[1].

The cheese course is always so pleasant that moves the discussion from politics or something back to the food at the end of the meal.

Keep the conversation also on Facebook!

Posted in Culinary Experience | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do near the Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres.

belovedhotels:

The Cancun area includes much more than a great nightlife. Have a look!

Originally posted on Beloved Hotels:

The area surrounding The Beloved Hotel includes much of Playa Mujeres and Mexico’s top tourist attractions. It is perfect for tours & activities. The Yucatan Peninsula is world-renowned for its Mayan archeological sites. Venture south from The Beloved Hotel to experience the extensive ruins at Chichen Itza, Tulum or Coba.

Tulum Mayan Ruins.

Another unique attractive of the area are the Cenotes. They are a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. These crystalline springs, connected by a network of underground rivers and which by nature can vary in shape and characteristics, are virtually unique to the Yucatan peninsula.

The Beloved Hotel also enjoys proximity to the Great Mayan Reef—the second longest coral reef in the world. It spans 450 miles, starts in ‘Cabo Catoche’, north of Quintana Roo, and borders the coast of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Simply stunning!

The bohemian fishing island Isla…

View original 118 more words

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Quick guide to Wine tasting

A little bit of wine knowledge goes a long way by opening doors to new flavors and styles. In this article we want to share with you the basics of a wine tasting.

You already have a lot of clues about a wine including its varietal, vintage and producer. These clues will lead you to expect what a wine should taste like. Identifying how a range of different wines taste comes with practice and experimentation so be patient.

TBH_Wine Chart

Before doing a wine tasting, make sure your mouth is clean and that you’re well hydrated. Don’t brush your teeth immediately before wine tasting, not only will it be harder to taste wine it might actually increase the chances of staining your teeth.

There are 5 Steps in for Wine Tasting:

Look: Use this step to get in the mindset of tasting. Look at the shade of color and opacity. How does it compare to other wines of the same varietal? Is it darker? More intense? Harder to see through? Take a mental snapshot for later, these hints will show how bold, rich and viscous the wine is.

Smell: Time to pay attention. Identifying smells beforehand makes tasting flavors in wine easier. Start by swirling the glass to aerate the wine and release its aromas. To swirl a glass, place it flat on a table and move your hand as though you are drawing tiny circles with the base. Now stick your nose in there and take a big sniff. What do you smell?

Taste: Who doesn’t love this step? Take a mouthwash size sip and briefly swish it around your mouth to make sure it coats your entire tongue before you swallow. Think about the flavors, textures and body of the wine. Is it sharp? Does it make your tongue feel dry? Do the flavors match the smells from earlier? Can you name a fruit, mineral or spice? Does it have an alcohol burn? Revisit smelling the wine after your first sip to help formulate any conclusions (guesses are ok too!).

tasting_tip

Swallow/Spit: Wasting wine? There are some good reasons to spit. Maybe the wine doesn’t suit your taste or you want to save yourself for a better wine. Or better yet, maybe you want to be sober enough to actually taste all the wines during the tasting.

Think: Too many guides focus on the superficial nuances of wine tasting. Wine tasting is a head game. Don’t be afraid to pipe up and offer your suggestions! There are no wrong answers!

When visiting The Beloved Hotel, continue your experience in Mexico with high quality wines and a delicious pairing with traditional Mexican canapés. Discover how the wine industry in Mexico has forged its history through a struggle, delivery and how the history of a Nation goes together with wine.

More info with your hotel concierge upon arrival.

Posted in Culinary Experience | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 tips to relax in 5 minutes

At The Beloved Spa, we know that health and wellness extend beyond our treatment rooms, therefore we want to share with you some effective ways to de-stress and relax…

12_tbhTake a Short Walk and thank: “Now walk it out. ” When you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a short  walk around the block.
Breath in and out completely and just think about three things you are grateful of having and thank them.  You’ll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to feel your mind in gratefulness!

Make a Pause and Stretch: Standing up for a stretch of arms, waist and head, can relieve muscle tension and help us relax during a stressful workday, if possible turn soft music, now say this to yourself  for three times  “Breath… relax… smile…” and do it!

Drip Cold Water on Your Wrists: Drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

Give a chance to Aromatherapy:  It takes just a minute to drip some lavender, chamomile, orange or bergamot essential oil into your palm. Inhale-exhale completely several times with your eyes closed. You can put a drop in your wrists and behind your ears. The soothing scents may help send stress and anxiety packing by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotion.

Give Yourself a Hand Massage: Try a hand massage for instant relaxation that calms a pounding heart . Hands in general can carry a lot of tension and anxiety.  Apply some lotion and start kneading the base of the muscle under the thumb to relieve stress in the shoulders, neck, and scalp, this is basic acupressure.

Find more about our The Beloved Spa and our Spa treatments. Explore a different way of taking vacations!

Special Offers to visit The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres.
Save up to 20%! Book before  February 17th  2014.

Posted in Spa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment