Horchata is a very popular type of drink called agua fresca that is enjoyed throughout Mexico. There are many variations; some use chufa or tiger nuts, sesame seeds, barley, or even cantaloupe seeds. Horchata complements the spiciness of Mexican food and refreshes during hot weather. Make a batch to go with your Mexican-inspired menu to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic Heritage Month, or any day of the year. This recipe contains no dairy, so it won’t spoil if it sits out for a little while -- perfect for picnics!
What You Do:
- In a blender, add the rice and water.
- Cover and blend until the rice is fine.
- Pour the mixture into a container and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- The particles of rice will have settled to the bottom of the container. Simply pour the liquid back into the blender, using a fine sieve to catch any pieces of rice that may fall in. Discard the rice.
- To the blender, add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Cover and blend until all the ingredients are combined.
- Serve over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.
This recipe is very flexible. You can use sweetened condensed or evaporated milk, grind a cinnamon stick in the blender in lieu of using ground cinnamon, and garnish it with lime zest. Have fun experimenting to see which way you like it best!
Alternate Recipe: To the recipe above, add 1 cup of blanched, sliced almonds and 2 cups of milk to step 5, and you will have a thicker, richer and nutty tasting beverage that’s so delicious! The nice thing about this version is that the milk will cool off tongues from spicy foods and it tastes like dessert in a glass.