Horchata was one of my favorite drinks back in Chicago. I would order it every time I went out for Mexican. Ok, sometimes I ordered a margarita. I introduced Miles to horchata this year and he was more than skeptical. He wanted to know what was made of. I wasn’t really sure. I knew it was rice based, but I wasn’t sure if it was rice water or rice milk mixed with sugar and cinnamon. It was very thin, yet creamy at the same time. He was not impressed and thought it sounded weird until he had the first sip. He instantly fell in love and now every time we go out and it’s on the menu, it’s the first thing he orders. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d try to make a batch myself from scratch. I found a lot of different recipes. Some added milk, some almond and some both. I settled on a recipe that only used rice. It’s almost an all day recipe because you have to let the rice soak for at least 3 hours. This leaves you time to run an errand or two, or in my case, a couple of loads laundry. After it soaks, you put it in a blender then strain it before putting it in the refrigerator to chill. It’s such a worthwhile process!! It’s such a light and refreshing drink. I think saw a cocktail recipe made with horchata somewhere…..
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 1 cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican, broken into pieces, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup sugar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican, for garnish
- Combine the rice and cinnamon stick with 4 cups water in a blender; pulse to coarsely grind. Transfer to a large bowl and add another 4 cups water; soak at room temperature for 3 hours.
- Puree the rice mixture in a blender in batches until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve into a pitcher. Mix in the sugar; chill.
- Stir the horchata well before serving. Pour into ice-filled glasses; garnish with cinnamon sticks and a dusting of ground cinnamon.