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Refreshing squash drink: Agua de chilacayote by Karen Hursh Graber © 2011

The bottle gourd, cucurbita Ficifolia, a rather bland member of the squash family, is common in Oaxacan cuisine, either cooked in stews, used to make a dulce something like candied pumpkin, or in this unique, refreshing beverage. It does not get strained, so the sweet pulp of the squash and pineapple remains in the drink. If chilacayote is unavailable, substitute yellow crookneck summer squash, but not zucchini or winter squash.


  • 2 cooked chilacayotes or yellow crookneck summer squash, cooked until very soft
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, about ½ inch cubes
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar (or piloncillo)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the squash in a blender with ½ cup of the water and the pineapple chunks. Liquify, but do not strain. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart pitcher.

Place the sugar in a saucepan with another ½ cup of the water and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add this to the pitcher, along with the cinnamon. Stir in the remaining water.

Refrigerate and serve well chilled. Makes 8 servings.


Link to source article
Market day in Ocotlan, Oaxaca: Gourmet grazing in Southern Mexico


Published or Updated on: September 22, 2011 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2011
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Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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