As a child living in Southern California, my family would visit Baja, California at least a few times each summer. I always looked forward to the hot streets filled with carts serving ice cold aguas frescas in a seemingly endless variety of flavors. It didn’t feel like summer until my first aguas fresca. Some of the carts served freshly squeezed juices that included ingredients like parsley and cucumber. Although these weren't always my first choice as a child, I always found them refreshing and now remember them so fondly.
These days I love incorporating these memories into my drink making. The flavors pair exceptionally well with food and are always refreshing. For the cocktails in this issue I really wanted to stay away from the margarita. Although an excellent drink, I wanted to move in a different direction. I also decided to stick with tequila and mezcal to pay tribute to Mexico and its very strong and well known contributions to the world of spirits.