Mexican Horchata (Almond Rice Drink with Cinnamon)
June 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
The first time I had horchata was at Anna’s Tacqueria in Boston (woohoo Anna’s!). It was unlike anything I had tasted before, it was sweet, milky, and a little tangy.
The surprising thing about horchata is that it is completely dairy-free, despite it’s milky appearance. It is made up with ground rice, almonds, and cinnamon.
I didn’t think this was going to be that hard to make when the recipe showed up in my inbox this week, but to be honest, it took a lot longer than I thought! Sure, the end result was delicious and refreshing, but even for me, it took a little longer than I would have liked so I only recommend making this if you have a bit of time to spare. Otherwise, it’s the perfect summer beverage!
Game plan: Start this recipe a day ahead, as the ground ingredients need to soak overnight.
Total Time: 10 mins, plus soaking time
Makes: 4 to 6 drinks (1 quart)
1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice
2 (1/2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 cup blanched, sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
4 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (2-inch-long) lime zest strip, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Pulverize the rice and cinnamon in a spice grinder in batches until the mixture resembles a fine powder. Place in a 2-quart container with a tightfitting lid. Next, pulverize the almonds in the spice grinder until finely ground but not a paste. Add the almond powder to the rice-cinnamon mixture, pour in the water, and stir to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours.
- Add the sugar and zest to the mixture and, using a blender, blend in batches on high until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Using a rubber spatula, press on the solids to extract all of the liquid, then discard the solids.
- Stir the lime juice into the horchata, then transfer the beverage to a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.