Toad water

We discovered a culinary specialty of Costa Rica. Well, we’re not sure it originates from Costa Rica, but we tasted it first in Costa Rica, in a little soda close to the Jaguar Rescue Center. The specialty is called ‘agua de sapo’ or toad water. Probably it is called like that because of the color. Maybe because of the taste, but I would recommend tasting the toads here. They are poisonous. The drink is amazingly refreshing, but you need to like ginger.

We looked up some recipes and then I started experimenting to find the best result with the least amount of effort.

For 1 – 1,5 liter, you need:

  • a blender
  • a citrus press
  • 100 g of pealed fresh ginger
  • 100 g of brown sugar (In Dutch ‘bruine basterd suiker’)
  • 4 limes or what the Costa Ricans call ‘mandarinas’. Mandarines are as big as clementines, green on the outside and orange on the inside. They taste sour and bitter sweet, sometimes more sweet, sometimes more bitter.
  • 1 – 1,5 liter of ice cold water, or water with ice cubes or crushed ice.

This is what you do:

1 Chop the ginger in chunks that are small enough for the blender.
2 Blend the ginger, the sugar and about 100 ml of water until the ginger is totally pulverized.
3 Pour the contents of the blender in a pitcher
4 Add the juice of the limes/mandarinas
5 Add the cold water and stir.


If the amount listed above are not to your satisfaction, please do try different ratios of the ingredients and find out your favorite mix. For example with less sugar.

Tip : if you peal the ginger in advance and keep it in the fridge in a jar of water, it will take no more than 5 minutes to make the drink.

Boil it

The above is not the recipe that we found on-line. That one told us to chop the ginger in small bits and boil it with the sugar and some water until the ginger dissolves. Then let it get cold in the fridge and then add the juice and the water.

I tried boiling the ginger, but it does not dissolve. However, the remaining fluid can still very well be used even without using the blender. The sugar may have caramelized a bit which changes the taste of the drink. You may like it better than the blended version, but I don’t.

Add bubbles

I want to try the blended version with bubble water instead of still water because I imagine it gives an even more refreshing taste.

Agua de sapo special

One more thing : to make an irresistible cocktail, mix a glass of toad water with a shot of Guaro. Guaro is a Costa Rican drink similar to gin. If you don’t have Guaro, then try gin (you guessed it) or perhaps wodka.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.