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Danny Trejo Shares Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe for Cinco de Mayo Parties: It ‘Always Puts a Smile on People’s Faces’

Danny Trejo Shares Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe for Cinco de Mayo Parties: It 'Always Puts a Smile on People's Faces'
Courtesy of Natalia Rodriguez

Fit for a fiesta! Danny Trejo’s Watermelon Agua Fresca mocktail makes the perfect addition to any Cinco de Mayo party menu.

“You can’t go wrong with our Watermelon Agua Fresca,” the Machete star, 78, exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “It always puts a smile on people’s faces. It’s got the classic colors of the agua frescas [from] old-school taco stands with the added kick of a little cayenne and lots of fresh lime juice.”

Trejo’s nonalcoholic recipe — which serves four and is featured in his new Trejo’s Cantina cookbook — is garnished with a Tajin-dusted watermelon cube to take it to the next level.

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“Non-drinkers will love it and folks who drink alcohol can always add a little smoky mezcal if they want,” the Desperado actor tells Us.

Danny Trejo Shares Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe for Cinco de Mayo Parties: It 'Always Puts a Smile on People's Faces'

While Trejo is a celebrated action star, he has a hidden passion for cooking. The California native, who owns a chain of Trejo’s Tacos eateries in Los Angeles, released his second cookbook, Trejo’s Cantina: Cocktails, Snacks & Amazing Non-Alcoholic Drinks From The Heart Of Hollywood, earlier this month. The tome is dedicated to the non-drinking and recovery communities in honor of Trejo’s 50 years of sobriety.

The Spy Kids actor, who initially cut out alcohol in 1968, further explains to Us that making the Aqua Frescas ahead of time will make pre-party hosting duties easier.

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“It’s all about doing stuff ahead so you can hang. Premixing drinks is going to make your life a lot easier. You want to be playing host not bartender,” he tells Us. “The morning of your party, mix up a batch of agua frescas for the people who don’t drink alcohol [and] for the folks who do drink, the Party Monster Margarita from the new cookbook is going to give you that classic frozen margarita flavor.”

Trejo’s recipes typically use “super fresh” juices from season fruit, but he admits that there’s “nothing like” using frozen limeade concentrate to get a margarita’s texture and flavor just right.

“Party responsibly. Make sure everybody has a designated driver, and if they don’t, call them an Uber, or, if you really like them, drive them yourself,” he notes. “One of the great things about being clean and sober all these years is I can drive anyone anywhere any time of day or night.”

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Trejo also recommends complementing his Watermelon Agua Fresca with a Cinco de Mayo taco bar.

“You got to be flexible these days. It used to be an LA thing but now so many folks have dietary restrictions or want to eat healthier so you should make sure you’ve got vegetarian options on top of your classics like asada,” the Renegades actor explains of his cooking hacks. “Make a jackfruit Tinga for the vegetarians and for the carnivores make birria tacos. And having pots of rice and beans on the side is good way of making sure you have enough food for everyone without breaking the bank.”

Keep scrolling to learn how to mix Trejo’s Watermelon Agua Fresca, and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly for even more festive Cinco de Mayo inspiration:


2 cups cubed watermelon

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

 teaspoon cayenne pepper


4 Tajín-dusted watermelon cubes, for garnish


  1. In a blender, combine the watermelon, 1 cup water, the sugar, lime juice and cayenne and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart container (discard the pulp).
  2. To serve, pour into ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each with a cube of Tajín-dusted watermelon.

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