Have you ever had horchata? It’s a wonderfully cool rice drink that has cinnamon, nuts and lime. They serve at most mexican restaurants.
It’s very addicting. Don’t take that as a warning, I want you to make this.
I’ve been wanting to make it since I came across a horchata cupcake recipe. You can buy horchata mix in the ethnic aisle of your supermarket, but I really wanted to make it.
This recipe is adapted from Rick Bayless. I don’t think I need to go into any further detail, right? If you aren’t sure who the James Beard award winner is, just google him. Any way, the man knows his mexican cuisine and this recipe is awesome, plus the Frontera Grill rocks.
Oh and it doesn’t hurt that I can hum some Vampire Weekend while mixing this up!
What makes this so simple is that you basically let the rice mixture sit in the fridge overnight in water. Then you put that in the blender to make a slurry.
Then you strain the slurry. I don’t think you can see the cheese cloth, but it’s there. Oh, and don’t skip the cheese cloth. This is probably the most important step, so don’t skip the cheese cloth.
If you like lime, add some more lime zest. If you cinnamon, add more of that. You can probably use other nuts instead of the almonds, but I like the balance of the almonds. I like the balance of all the flavors and once I have a glass I can’t seem to stop, so I really hope that I can make those cupcakes.
- 6 T Rice
- 1 1/4 C Almonds
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1/2 t of Nutmeg
- 2 Strips of Lime Zest (colored portion only), about 2-by-3/4-inch
- 1/2 C Sugar (or more to taste)
- 2 1/4 C Hot Tap Water
- 4 C Cold Water
Thoroughly pulverize the rice in a blender or spice grinder. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the almonds, cinnamon stick, nutmeg and lime zest. Stir in 2 1/4 cups of hot tap water, cover and let stand a least 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.
Scoop the mixture into the blender jar and blend for 3-4 minutes, until it no longer feels very gritty. Add 2 cups of water then blend for a few seconds more. Set a large sieve over a mixing bowl and line with 3 layers of dampened cheesecloth. Pour in the almond-rice mixture a little at a time, gently stirring to help the liquid pass through. When all has been strained, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist them together to trap the dregs inside. Squeeze the package firmly to expel the remaining liquid.
Add 2 cups of water and stir in enough sugar to sweeten the drink to your taste. I actually made a simple syrup with the 1/2 C of sugar and 1 C of water that I let cool and then added the remaining water, but you don’t have to. If the consistency is too thick, add additional water. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir before pouring, serve with ice.
This makes about 7 servings.