Can you feel the hellish heat creeping up on us? The folks at Antojito's Jalisco will gladly pour you a cup of their ice-cold aguas frescas ("fresh waters") or mix up one of their several specialty drinks, like a Rusa, to fend off the three-digit temperatures. The chubby kid inside me jumped for joy when I walked into this small establishment located in the heart of Oak Cliff. Someone finally thought to open a one-stop shop for all the best Mexican treats or "little cravings," which is what antojitos means. Antojito's Jalisco (428 E. Jefferson Blvd) carries a menu of more than 30 Mexican snacks and treats. Because my wallet wouldn't agree with me trying the entire menu, here are three of their most refreshing options.
La Rusa Roughly translated Rusa means "Russian Lady." I can't tell you the name's origin, but it doesn't really matter when you bite down on a sweet chunk of spicy pineapple.
The Rusa is a concoction of chunks of fresh pineapple, orange, cucumbers and jicama swimming in a mixture of grapefruit soda and orange juice. A straw covered in tamarind that mixes into the drink after being stirred gives the drink a spicy aftertaste.
The agua nieves are mixtures of finely crushed ice and fruit puree, very similar to sorbet. The key difference is that agua nieves are very watery, thus they are slushier. Jalisco offers about eight different flavors, like mango and lime. The mango agua nieve has a nice finishing touch in the bits of mango flesh that are mixed into the ice. It's sweet enough to the point that the melting ice doesn't dilute the taste but not overly sweet that it becomes unpleasant. My only regret was getting a small instead of a large.
Aguas Frescas ("Fresh waters") Aguas frescas are a kind of stalwart when it comes to Mexican drinks. They're in a gray area between juice and tea. Sometimes they're brewed and other times they're simply stirred with water and sugar, but they're always served cold. Anjtojitos Jalisco serves about 12 flavors, from lime and watermelon to pina colada and jamaica (hibiscus punch). The pina colada is pretty standard. The coconut and pineapple flavorings are evenly balanced.
My favorite is definitely the agua de jamaica. This drink strikes a balance between cranberry and grape, but it has its own kind of boldness to it. I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are dozens of other options here. One review doesn't do this place justice, but it's definitely a start.