For Jesus Arreaga, owner of San Antonio snack shop Elotitos, aguas frescas are reminders of simpler times in Coahuila where vitroleros were always filled to the brim with the cold elixir. They’re also standout memories of school days spent in San Antonio with his sister. As an adult, the fruity, refreshing drinks are also a big seller and compliment the popular corn in a cup menu at his business. He wasn’t aware that the staple of his life has been at the center of a TikTok controversy until recently.
The debacle surrounding the fruit-infused drinks has been a popular TikTok talking point with many Latinos calling out content creator Gracie Norton for passing off a recipe that she made, which closely follows the one for aguas frescas, as “spa water.” Arreaga says he was out of the conversation until one of his employees showed him one of the many TikTok responses to Norton.