With Cinco de Mayo coming up this weekend, I decided to make up some homemade Horchata. The boyfriend and I would almost always pick up a large cup of Horchata to share from our awesome local Mexican restaurant in DC, and now that we’ve moved, I wanted to experiment with making my own!
Horchata recipes vary greatly across Latin countries, but generally is a sweet “milky” drink, flavored with cinnamon. It can be made from rice, nuts, morro seeds, or sesame seeds and can have cow’s milk, coconut milk, or evaporated milk added. There are so many recipes and varieties published online!
I decided to go with an easy (and lactose free!) recipe: easy enough that I could prep the base before bed one night this week and finish off the Horchata after work the next day. I combed through my email to find the recipe from an Imbibe Magazine newsletter that I saved a few months ago. I modified the recipe slightly because it wasn’t quite sweet enough, but feel free to cut back on the sugar if you want yours less-sweet.
The only “problem” (I guess you can call it that?) I had was that my blender was not strong enough to fully pulverize the cinnamon stick. So I ended up straining the mixture multiple times through a fine mesh strainer. If you have a regular blender (and not one super-strong like a Vitamix), you may have the same problem. In that case, remove the cinnamon stick from the mixture before blending it, and add about 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon when you add the sugar.
Serve the Horchata over ice, sprinkled with a little bit of cinnamon! It is wonderful and refreshing as-is, but you can also add a splash of spiced rum for a fun and easy adult drink. 😀
Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! 🙂
Yield: about 2 quarts
1/2 cup uncooked, long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups blanched, slivered almonds
1 cinnamon stick, preferably canela
5 cups hot water, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups cold water
Large mixing bowl
Clean kitchen towel
Fine mesh strainer
1. Pulverize the white rice in a spice grinder until it resembles a fine, powdery flour. Grind the blanched almonds in a food processor until they are a coarse meal.
2. Combine the rice flour, almond meal, and cinnamon stick in a large bowl, and add 3 cups hot water. Stir to combine.
3. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and refrigerate for about 10 hours.
4. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, and spoon the Horchata base in to a blender. Purée the base for about 5 minutes on high speed. Rinse your large bowl, and set aside.
5. Transfer the Horchata base back to your bowl, and stir in the sugar and the other 2 cups of hot water. Blend the base, in batches, for an additional 3 minutes on high speed.
6. Line your mesh strainer with cheesecloth, and set it over a 2-quart pitcher. Strain the Horchata to remove any large grains.
7. Stir in 3 cups of cold water. Taste the Horchata, and strain the mixture again if it is too grainy. If it’s too thick for your taste, add an additional cup of cold water.
Store the Horchata in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve over ice, sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon.