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summer beverage

6 Refreshing Latina summer cocktail and beverage recipes to try 

Summer is here and we’re all craving some refreshing beverages to quench the thirst while we sit poolside or gather with friends and family at the next asado. 

Today we’ve gathered a few cool and tasty Latina summer cocktail and beverage recipes by Latina food blogger, Yvette Marquez, known as @muybuenocooking on Instagram. These beverages are bright, colorful, tasty and inspired by the Latina culture we all know and love. 

Check out these summer cocktail and beverage recipes below and try them out the next time you’re craving a delicious cold drink! 

Agua de Sandia

Simple and easy to make all you need for this beverage recipe is a watermelon, some fresh lime, sugar, and a blender. This tasty summer beverage is sure to keep you refreshed all season long!

Reposado Paloma

Featuring reposado tequila, freshly juiced grapefruits and limes, a hint of sweetness from agave and a bubbly club soda topper, this tasty beverage recipe is a must-try this summer!

Cucumber Mojito

This minty refreshing sparkling summer cocktail is perfect for any outdoor party or gathering. Light and cool it’s sure to keep you refreshed during the summer heat.

Strawberry Serrano Margarita

Lower in calories than most sugary drinks in Mexican restaurants, this margarita packs a punch of flavor and includes antioxidant-rich, immune-boosting strawberries and serrano.

Shop summer beverage dispensers for your next party!

Photo by Belle Hunt on Unsplash

Easy Blueberry Margarita

“Made in just 5 minutes with 5 ingredients, this gorgeous cocktail is about to revolutionize your 5 o’clock,” says Yvette. This colorful drink is the perfect summer beverage, embodying the vibrant energy of the season. 

Flor de Piña Cocktail

Made with tequila, orange liqueur, honey, coconut water, and pineapple, this beverage is ready in less than five minutes and is sure to satisfy your taste-buds. 

You might be interested: 5 Fresh summer salads by Latina chefs you need to try! 


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cactus water

Latina entrepreneur Sarita Lopez shares cactus water health benefits with beverage line ¡CACTUS!  

Sarita Lopez grew up eating Nopales but didn’t truly appreciate their health benefits and rich history until she began farming and selling the paddles at local markets. Since then, she has created two cactus water lines in hopes of introducing the amazing health benefits of cactus water to more of the US. 

Sarita Lopez, founder of ¡CACTUS! (Photo courtesy of Sarita Lopez)

Sarita’s career in the beverage industry began when she moved to Austin, Texas after college and soon received a job at a large soda company. After seeing the difficulties of having a beverage business, she swore she would never start one of her own.

However, all of that changed after she moved back to her hometown of Napa, CA, to start an organic farm with her family.

On their farm, wild cactus paddles grew on their land and one day a worker suggested they harvest the paddles because of their popularity in the Latino and Hispanic market. 

“Growing up, I knew what Nopales were and ate them, but never knew about their history or healthy benefits. I began to research them and spoke to family and friends familiar with this particular cactus. When I found out how much goodness was packed inside the paddles, I began to incorporate them into my life,” Sarita says. 

“Within two weeks, the eczema that plagued me my whole life began to clear up and my digestion felt better than ever. I became driven to learn as much as I could about this ancient plant and spent hours exploring its nutritional marvel, moved by the many studies about its benefits and rich background.” 

Through her research, Sarita learned the fascinating cultural history surrounding the cactus plant and its uses in medicine and wellness. 

Just a few amazing cactus water health benefits

The Nopal cactus leaf contains antioxidants, betalains, electrolytes, amino acids – plus a uniquely powerful hydrocolloid that promotes absorption and retention in your body. For generations, Latin American healers called curanderos have recommended cactus leaf for colds, skin conditions, digestion and more. 

Today’s research shows components of cactus leaf may promote health benefits such as muscle recovery, combat free radicals and oxidative stress linked to inflammation, support cardio and skin health, and may even lessen the effects of hangovers.

Nopal cactus leaves contain many amazing health benefits and have been used for centuries in Latin American folk medicine. (Photo courtesy of Sarita Lopez)

“I began to sell cactus paddles, and customers raved of their benefits and features.” 

Then Sarita found out that most of her customers were juicing the Nopales and this sparked an idea. She decided to combine her worlds of beverage and farming and launched her first cactus water in 2017, “Green-Go” which later evolved and became ¡CACTUS!

Standing strong like a cactus in the face of challenges

Aside from her passion for cactus water and sharing its health benefits with people, another motivating factor to launch her business was her desire to honor her heritage and her family. 

“I watched my father, a Hispanic scientist, face racism in his work world and while living in Napa. I swore that if given the chance, I would create something of my own, just like my dad, to help combat the idea that the color of skin would and could not dictate a person’s path in life. I am fiercely proud of my heritage and love that I have a platform to speak about Nopales, a food that has been eaten for centuries by indigenous people whom I share blood with,” Sarita shares with Latinas in Business

Throughout her entrepreneurial journey, Sarita has also learned a lot. When she first started out, there was some stumbling as she navigated this new process. 

“It’s easy to spend too much money too quickly,” she says. “Looking back, I signed with top distributors and brokers too soon and sold in too many states for the profits to make sense. I now work with the Small Business Development Center and connected with a financial advisor who helped me create a strong budget with realistic projected expenses and sales. There is a lot of free help for small businesses. I also realized the benefit of creating a business plan. Numbers truly don’t lie!”

After launching her first cactus beverage line in 2017, she received some good press and attention, but by 2019 Sarita decided it was time to evolve her brand. 

Sarita rebranded her business just before the pandemic hit, yet her company was able to weather the storm and come out strong and resilient like a cactus. (Photo courtesy of Sarita Lopez)

“I started with the product. After much research and taste testing, I moved from one unsweetened, zero-calorie cactus water in aseptic cardboard to three popular organic flavors, each lightly sweetened with organic agave (5g sugar, 30 calories) and packaged in 12-ounce recyclable sleek cans. And I changed the brand name to ¡CACTUS! to more directly convey that our product is cactus water—important given the multitude of beverage products on store shelves.”

With a new look, name, and flavors 2020 started strong for Sarita and ¡CACTUS! Even the pandemic could not sway them. 

“Just like a cactus being able to survive some of the harshest elements on earth, our company survived 2020 and we are stronger because of it,” Sarita writes on her site

Today, Sarita continues to strive for success with her company, not just for herself but for all the people who have been part of her journey and believe in her company. 

“I want them to share in the riches as well. The old cliché is true – there is no “I” in “team!” Knowing that I can share my victories with the people who have been by my side since the beginning is what gets me out of bed, ready to start a new and beautiful day,” she says. 

To other Latinas and minority women entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own venture, Sarita “really, REALLY” recommends creating a business plan! 

“Figuring out your market, expenses and sales projections helps you make sure you are on track for success. Use as many free or not-so expensive resources as possible, such workshops and classes through your local Small Business Administration.” 

“Everyone has a great idea or two, but the ones that have a chance in making that dream come to life are those who put ideas into action!” 

Latin American tea infusions

5 teas and infusions popular in Latin America to improve sleep, focus, digestion, and more! 

Are you a tea lover? Or are you looking to try something new? Warm or cold, herbal teas and other infusions are often the perfect beverage to comfort and refresh—and they come with health benefits bonuses!

But what is the difference between the two? “Infusion” is a generic name for any ingredients –leaves, fruits, or herbs– that, left in hot or cold water, transmit their scents, aromas, and flavors to the liquid.

“Herbal tea” however, refers to a drink prepared using the leaves, roots, or stems of medicinal plants containing numerous benefits for our body.

Detoxification, diuretic effects, relaxing, or better digestion, both infusions and teas contain many properties that can help you start the year on the right foot!

Used for both healing purposes and social gatherings, teas and infusions are a cornerstone of Latin American and Hispanic culture. Today we’ve gathered a few of our favorite teas and infusions popular in Latin America to share with you. 

There’s something here for everyone from the busy entrepreneur who needs her caffeine boost to the college student who can’t sleep, or the mom with digestive issues—these teas have you covered! 

All you coffee addicts out there may be shaking your heads, but maybe it’s time to give tea a chance and reap the health benefits with these 5 teas and infusions popular in Latin America.

You might be interested: 15 Best Latin American soup recipes to try this winter!

5 teas and infusions popular in Latin America for health and energy  

Latin American tea infusion

Agua de Jamaica. (Image via muybuenocookbook.com)

Agua de Jamaica (Mexico) 

Agua de Jamaica is a traditional Mexican tea made from Hibiscus flowers. This tea can be prepared either hot or cold, but is more often a cold drink, with a fruity, sweet, sour, and astringent flavor profile. Unsweetened, it has a tart taste similar to cranberries but is often sweetened with honey or sugar to balance the tartness. 

This flavorful tea is not only refreshing, but it also boasts many health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, this tea is also believed to help lower blood pressure and blood fat levels, boost liver health, promote weight loss, help fight bacteria, and contains compounds that may even prevent cancer. 

Ready to try it?

  • Rinse and drain the dried hibiscus flowers in a large colander.
  • Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the flowers and cover them tightly with a lid. Remove from the heat and steep for 1 hour or until cool.
  • Strain hibiscus water into a pitcher and discard flowers. Add sugar and stir. Refrigerate until time to serve.

Get more recipes from Ivette Marquez here

Té de Poleo (Image source)

Poleo (Mexico) 

Té de Poleo is another Mexican tea often used to treat colds and headaches. This tea is made from Hedeoma drummondii aka American Pennyroyal. Its flavor is intensely sweet and minty, produced when its herbage is crushed. 

Poleo has been used to treat a variety of ailments ranging from fever, colds, headaches, poor appetite, constipation, menstruation, and hangovers. 

Ready to try it?

  • Simply steep a tea bag, tea infuser, or tea ball in 8oz. of boiling water for 10 – 12 minutes.
  • You may wish to add honey or other sweeteners. 

Guayusa tea. (Image source)

Guayusa (Ecuador)

Guayusa is a tea widely popular in Ecuador but native to the Amazon rainforest, made from the leaves of the holly tree known by the botanical name Ilex guayusa. Its flavor is grassy and rich with a gentle sweetness and also slight fruity flavors and a creamy texture. 

For those looking for a caffeine alternative to coffee, guayusa is definitely one to consider. Guayusa tea is a caffeinated herbal beverage known for its ability to increase energy. Like the famous yerba mate, guayusa is also popular at social gatherings. 

Additional health benefits include amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Guayusa has been shown to boost cardiovascular health and immune system, improve mood and induce relaxation, prevent premature aging and protect the nervous system from degenerative diseases with antioxidants, aid in digestion and promote weight loss. 

Ready to try it?

  • Pour fresh, cold water into a large pot or a tea kettle. Use only pure, spring or unfiltered water for the best flavor.
  • Bring the water to a roiling boil and remove it from heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon or 2 grams of dried guayusa tea leaves to a tea gourd. Pour the hot water on the leaves and steep for 4 to 7 minutes. Brew up to 10 minutes for a stronger brew.

Learn more about guayusa and how to prepare it here

Yerba Mate. (Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash)

Mate (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) 

Mate is a traditional herbal brew native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. It’s flavor is strong, bitter, and vegetal, and it is often sweetened to balance the strong flavor. 

Like guayusa, mate is also a caffeinated tea with 85 mg of caffeine per cup. Mate is prepared by packing the herbs into a traditional cup, adding hot water, and sipping the tea through a metallic straw. In social gatherings, mate is traditionally shared with friends passing the drink from person to person and refilling the cup with hot water, a popular behavior that has changed since the pandemic started!

For those looking to improve focus, mate is the beverage for you. Additionally, mate has been shown to enhance physical performance, protect against infection, boost the immune system, and lower blood sugar levels and risk of heart disease. The infusion also provides small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. 

Ready to try it?

  • Pour some yerba mate into your mate cup (until it is ¾ full)
  • Pour warm water onto part of the yerba mate.
  • The yerba is now getting wet and the infusion is starting to take place. Wait 30 seconds.
  • Put mate straw into the wet yerba mate tea.
  • Pour in hot water softly. Add sugar to taste to the mate if you want to sweeten it and “suck” through the yerba mate straw.

Get additional information and the recipe here

Latin American tea

Cascara tea. (Image source)

Cáscara (Nicaragua

Cáscara is an infusion from Nicaragua made from the dried husk of the coffee cherry. It has honey and floral notes in its flavor and contains around 25 mg of caffeine per cup. 

For those who are in need of some stress reduction, better sleep patterns, and better brain functioning, this is the tea for you. Cáscara also helps aid in digestion and reduce digestive issues such as constipation and preventing gallstones. Additionally, cáscara may also improve your skin and hair with its nutritional properties such as vitamin B, potassium, manganese, and calcium. 

Ready to try it?

  • Put the cascara in either an empty tea bag or any other tea infuser.
  • Steep it in boiling water (100℃ or 212℉) for around five minutes.
  • You can get creative with it adding sweetened condensed milk.

Get other recipes here

***Disclaimer: Beware that overconsumption of these teas may cause adverse side effects. Please follow package instructions or consult your doctor before use of these teas and infusions if you have prior health concerns.***