Horchata….I love to say say that word. For some reason its conjures up sexiness to me. Maybe because when I first heard of this, I was young and it just seemed so exotic. Sexy people sipping a Horchata in the beaming sun. Horchata is known as The Drink of The Gods.With images of sexiness and sunshine with some glamor, I sought out to taste it. Unfortunately I tasted a bad version of it in D.C, and never really thought much of it again for years after that. Funny how one bad experience can set you off.
Here’s a little back story. I love milk and milk doesn’t like me at all. Now Certain Someone can drink some milk. Sometimes I look at him and just crave a tall cold creamy glass, but we both know there will be dire consequences if that happens. So when budgets permit I like to buy myself some delicious Almond or Rice milks, but that can get really pricey. Then I became reacquainted with this drink, Horchata, and I’m onto a new thing! Nothing is more filling and thirst quenching then a tall ice cold glass of this drink ,originating form Spain, and arriving in various forms throughout the Latin America.The Mexican version of Horchata is made from pulverized long grain rice, water, cinnamon,sugar and lime zest. In Spain, where it originates, its called Horchata Chufa , and is made from Tiger Nuts or Chufas. Chufas can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt and have many healthy properties.Similar in taste to an almond, its not surprising the Spaniards used almonds, and rice when they brought the drink to the new world. Maybe I wasn’t to far off in equating sexiness and Horchatas. Both Chufa /Tiger Nuts and Almonds are all aphrodisiacs. Drink Up.
I came across a recipe from a well known cookbook author, who I won’t mention, and he seemed to miss an important and vital step, straining it. I was running low on Cinnamon sticks, so I decided to use the lone stick I had with some Cardamon, not authentic, but why not? I also used whole almond that hadn’t been blanched. Since I was straining the mixture, I felt it wouldn’t matter in appearance.This drink is so good I would like to keep it always prepared in my refrigerator. It can also served as a base for alcoholic drinks mixed with rum. So before you go buy commercial Almond Milks or Rice Milks. Try this at home for a fraction of the cost, and far more tastier. I submit this for a long overdue Meatless Mondays Post.
Horchata With A Twist
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice, preferably long grain
- Zest of 1 lime ( keep zest in larger pieces to strain out)
- 4 cups of cold water ( 2 for soaking and 2 for blending)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5-7 Green Cardamon Pods, shelled
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup almonds ( blanched or un blanched)
- In a large bowl soak rice, Cinnamon sticks, cardamon seeds and lime zest. Cover and let rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator . Some methods pulverize rice first in blender ,as well, then soak. Either way a good straining will be needed after blending.
- Remove Cinnamon sticks and lime zest.
- Take a blender and in small batches , blend the rice ,water , with the almonds ,as best you can until a white liquid forms.
- Once all blended and sugar and mix.
- Strain twice through a fine meshed sieve or through cheesecloth to extract the liquid from the remaining gritty residue.
- Using a funnel bottle liquid and store in the refrigerator. Horcahta will last a few weeks in the fridge.
- Serve in chilled glasses or with ice.
Don’t forget you have until next week to win a set of Three Nordic Ware Bundt Pans for my Housewarming Party for Coco-Cooks.com.